The Challenges Women Face in the Workplace

Lately, women’s rights has been a popular issue of social importance. And with the recent happenings from this year’s “International Women’s Day,” I was inspired to write about the challenges women are often plagued with in the workplace. Below is just a small selection of the challenges I’ve seen.

Maternity Leave

Overall, paid maternity leave in the United States lags behind almost every other industrialized country in the world. America, and a small island nation called Papua New Guinea, are the only two industrialized countries in the world with no paid maternity leave at all.

Although legally, employers with fifty or more workers must allow new mothers twelve weeks of job-protected leave every year to care for a newborn. However, the problem is maternity leave isn’t paid and often leaves new mothers with less income at a time when they need it the most. That’s why most new mothers don’t utilize the full 12 weeks they are given

Women Need to Be “Attractive” to Succeed

Women in every industry and every level of leadership make 79 cents for every dollar men make. Not only do we make less than men, but we have to put out more money to make ourselves look attractive. Why? Because statistically, attractive people are better off in the workplace. It’s a human bias that’s known as the “what is beautiful is good” effect. Women who look beautiful are seen as more intelligent and competent. They also are more likely to get job interviews, more job offers, and higher income than their less attractive counterparts. So if we want to be seen as more attractive by societal standards, we have to wear makeup, style our hair, whiten our teeth, and attend to skin and nail care — all which require money.

Women Need to be Attractive, But Not Too Attractive

It’s a catch-22: women need to be attractive to succeed, but they can’t be too attractive or else they won’t be taken seriously. It can bring an increased discrimination in hiring and on the job, and can make women leaders less trustworthy and loyal. So although women “need” wear makeup and have their hair done, being too done-up can make women seem shallow or judged for only getting by based on their looks. If women aren’t done-up enough, they aren’t taken seriously and aren’t as successful as other, more attractive women.

Women, how do you feel about this? Please comment below.

Why The Argument Against Women Working is Now Over

Lori Cornmesser

Nearly half of all workers today are women. Most people agree that this is positive movement forward in our country.

A few reasons why:

Men and women nowadays have similar goals in life.
We all want kids, a family (most of us), and to make enough money for investments and living a comfortable lifestyle. We all want to be part of our own success and stay healthy.

Marriage is now more important women than it is for women.
The statistics show that men value being married more so than women, in terms of future goals. Some men agree that women can live a fulfilling life without marriage, and more women believe that is so as well. Two-thirds of all women and men say that they are happy in their marriage or partnership.

Women making more money is very widely accepted now.
Most people are comfortable with the notion of women earning the same amount as men these days. Times are changing as men become more liberal and free to this idea, as compared to their fathers who believe that women should not earn as much as a man. This is an old way of thinking that is going out the door.

Who has a better life?
Men still hold the statistic in terms of what other people believe to be true. Men still have higher benefits than women.

Working mothers are much more common and accepted these days.
Women with children are just as committed to their jobs and careers as women without kids.

People still hold on to the traditional notions of family life. In the 1970s, families consisted of a stay at home parent (mother) who would take care of the kids, make sure the house is orderly, and cook. The father or man of the house was be the breadwinner for the family and went to work daily to earn a living for himself and his family. It just isn’t this way anymore.

The truth is, with the demanding, fast-paced lifestyle that everyone has these days (thanks for technology and other innovations), both men and women are wanting help! Especially when it comes to kids and family life.