Harmonizing Work & Motherhood: Can We Afford Not To? By Dr. Kas Henry

Harmonizing Work & Motherhood:  Can We Afford Not To?

 

Women are an integral part of the global work place.  They are parallel thinking multi-taskers alongside their sequential thinking male individual taskers. Men and women solve problems differently and women are more prone to natural collaboration and seeking assistance.  A good balance of both male and female perspectives to ideas and solutions are needed for business success and the brain function studies seem to affirm that much needed gender balance.

 

Research shows that

  • Fortune 500 Firms with women Board members outperform their peers by 53% greater ROE
  • Women make up half of the U.S. workforce and comprise $5 trillion in purchasing power
  • Women make up a majority of the single parent households with children in the US
  • 80% of all US healthcare decisions are made by women
  • 70% of all major financial decisions in the US households are made by women

 

 

 

Women are daughters, mothers and wives.  As such they are the care givers of their families. They are required to juggle work, family, social obligations and taking care of themselves.  Women are considered “stay at home” and “not working” when they are not employed for wages but expend energy working for the family from morning till night for no pay.  When women work for wages, they take on a second job, a job outside of the home.  This job may not pay equal wages for equal work when a male and a female perform that same job, even in developed first world nations like the US.  In a system like the US, women are actuarially valued to be higher risk for healthcare as those naturally endowed to give birth.  So, we create a perfect storm, placing women to juggle work, life, family while making lower wages and paying higher insurance alongside making majority of the financial decisions and carrying a greater financial burden.

 

 

 

Other nations like Canada places high value in motherhood and gives mothers time off to care for their new born and support the family.  Those countries value early mother-child bonding and strong family as a foundation for building a stronger society that is socially engineered for lasting and prospering.

 

 

 

 

Then there are other nations across the world, like India, that cannot even assure the safety of the woman in the workplace where women could be sexually assaulted by her co-workers.

 

This is the spectrum of women in the workplace in our global economic environment.

 

No doubt, women have come a long way in the workplace, but there is more to be done and much continue to remain a conundrum. Women not staying in the workforce and leaving to raise families while be unemployed or under employed is not healthy for business or society.  Attracting, developing and retaining women in the workforce is important for the organizational succession plan.

 

How do we support women in the workplace?  How public policy, employers, co-workers, families and society as a whole come together to create harmony of work-life-family where women can bring their best to each situation is of utmost importance today, then ever.  Because, today we have a female workforce that is more educated than their male counterparts and we have more families with single mothers across the world.  How we support working women is the foundation for how we are preparing to groom our future generations being raised by these women.  

 

As the millennial generation and Gen Zs come of age, we are also seeing more men comfortable with the stay at home role as women with their better education become the primary bread winners.  The approach to dealing with the Women in the workplace will also need to be applied to the gender reversal we see emerging. Please join me and my guests, Allison Robinson and Christine Coyle of The Mom Project, to explore how best to harness the value of women and mothers in the workplace and continue to build that into the optimal approach for supporting families.