How individuals earn a living through work has progressed rapidly over the years in America’s history. It’s evident that the perception of gender roles and what women ought to be in our corporate world today has blossomed progressively. The concern is if employers are promoting this changed perception through human resource employment practices enough to enable women more growth in today’s corporations?
“In 1993, the Women’s Bureau conducted the first large scale, nationally representative survey about working women’s employment challenges and concerns. The survey demonstrated that women are more likely to leave the labor force than men, roughly forty percent of women in comparison to one in four men. Working women were four times as likely to cite a personal or family reason for leaving the work force”
(US Department of Labor 1 & 2). Compared to thirty-one percent of men, sixty-one percent of women stated taking care of family was an important justification of their leaving. Women are great assets to any organization’s development, it is imperative that employers make it a mission to not only promote a positive experience for women through benefits that assists women with maternity leave, but also by supporting women’s new work life balance challenge post maternity leave.
In conclusion, there are many hurdles to overcome outside of employer compensation strategies. The US is one of three countries that does not guarantee compensated maternity leave, and the only states that provide publicly funded maternity leave are Massachusetts, California, New Jersey, and Rhode Island. FMLA is a great step forward, but there is still more ground work that needs to be done from employers and policy makers to remain pro-family. Current maternity leave policies steer towards gender pay gaps, income gaps, and create a non-inclusive work culture nationally. This is more than a call to action, but a time of acknowledgement and create justice for all women in our society.
Gilpin, Lindsey. 10 things you need to know about maternity leave in the US. 8 May 2015. <www.techrepublicarticle.com/article/10-things-you-need-to-know-about-maternity-leave-in-the-us/>.
US Department of Labor. Results from the Survey of Working Women. 2016. <https://www.dol.gov/wb/resources/Survey_of_Working_Women_Brief.pdf>.