How often do you see a woman as an executive in
charge of a large company? And of those women that
have succeeded into these positions, how many of
them have families at home? Not all that many. It
seems that the way society looked at women in the
past has hindered them from succeeding in both the
family and career aspects simultaneously. Many
women choose one or the other. Either to raise a
family of their own or to pursue their career,
especially if their career choice is not one of
the jobs considered being womens work. In the past
women were looked at as the more nurturing of the
sexes and that is why they typically stayed at
home and raised the family while the men went out
and brought home the bacon so to speak. If you
have ever seen the television shows of the 50s you
would have noticed that most of the families on
these shows consisted of a father that worked a
nine to five job, a couple of kids, and a mother.
The mother was a housewife whos sole duties were
to raise the children, clean the house and have a
hot meal on the table for her husband as he
returned home from work.
In many instances the
women on these shows never worked out side of the
home and when they did decided to try they
normally failed and at the end of the show
realized that their place was in the home raising
the children. Never once did I ever see a show
that while the woman decided to give a career a
try that the man stayed at home and took care of
the children, and not once did I see one of these
women succeed and stick with her job. But this is
changing. More often then not women in todays
society are going out there and starting careers
of their own. And these are not necessarily
careers that are in the category of womens work.
Many of these women are going out and getting
positions that would normally not be considered
womens work. What I mean by womens work is those
jobs that are normally possessed by women.
waitressing, secretarial work, teaching elementary
children, childcare, and many other positions.
These were only a few of the jobs out in the work
field and yet they were the only ones that were
allowed to women. Or at least that is how it used
to be up until WWII when women had to go out into
the working world to support their families. This
was due to the fact that most men were away
defending their country. Women were soon able to
do many jobs that would normally not be allowed to
women. Women worked in factories, had executive
positions in companies, they helped build
airplanes, and many other things to help with the
war effort. This only lasted as long as the war
As soon as the war was over and the men
began to come home, women were expected to return
to their lives of being housewives. Although many
women were forced to or willingly left there jobs
when America’s men returned from war to reclaim
them, the attitudes and images regarding women had
been altered and would affect the future of
America for better or for worse. After the war
when many women had the taste of life outside of
the home they soon began to try even harder to
change the way things were they more or less
decided that it was time that they too were able
to make it in the work force. Many women started
to take charge of their lives and went out and
attempted to get a job. Most of these jobs that
women sought were mens jobs because they offered
more pay, fringe benefits, authority and autonomy.
(Williams) Many women who make it in the business
world dont have a family of their own. Even though
studies show that working mothers are better role
models for their young children as long as they
also spend time with their children.
a website sponsored by the University of
Minnesota: Daughters of working mothers tend to be
more assertive, independent and active defenders
of their rightsThey are more likely to choose
their mothers as models and as the person they
most admire. The female role is not being limited
to homemaker. (Portner) These girls learn from an
early age to believe in themselves, which a lot of
female have a hard time doing in this day and age.
If a young girl has a good role model to look up
she is more likely to have a better image of
herself and to respect herself as a person. The
web site also states that some girls with full
time mothers are over protected and less likely to
be out going. They may be reserved and that may
not help them to stand up for themselves. Also in
an article I found on the website Family Education
it was stated that: Sociologists cite the
cross-cultural studies showing that the more
solitary mothering is, the less tender the
This runs exactly count to our
thinking, that only if the mother is always there
can she feel the tender maternal bond. Now Im not
saying that if a mother only stays at home and
raise her children that she will not be tender and
caring towards her offspring. What I am trying to
state is that mothers have to find some thing else
to occupy their time with than just mothering and
for some the way of doing this is by having a job
outside of the home. There are some disadvantages
of mothers working, but at the same time the
advantages seem to out way them. According to
Psychology of Women-A Handbook of Issues and
Theories, When women combine the roles of wife and
worker, their families have a substantial economic
advantage over families where only the husband is
an earner. This is true in so many different ways.
In the fact that children are able to participate
in more things if their parents are able to afford
it, and that children do not have to go with out
things that they would not be able to afford with
a single income.
The few women who have succeeded
in the business world may find it hard to find
equal paying jobs and may face discrimination or
even sexual harassment. According to the website
Working Women, in 1996 women were paid only 74
cents for every dollar earned by a man. There have
been many laws made to change this. Now days under
affirmative action women must receive the same pay
as a man would. Also women may not be taken as
seriously just because of the fact that they are
female. If they act with assertiveness, ambition,
and risk taking they are not accepted well.
are thought to be too manly. If they act to
feminine such as being passive, dependent, or
emotional they are denied the chance at leadership
roles because they dont have the right traits.
(Grunig) Women have to walk a narrow path that is
set for them by men. If they do not follow this
path they are looked at as not being normal. Women
have tried over the years to over come this and
they have finally started to succeed. More and
more women are taking leadership roles in
companies. Now days, women cannot be denied a job
just because they are women.
An employer could
face a lawsuit if they do. Women have worked long
and hard to reach the point they are at today.
Women in European countries have formed labor
unions to try and ensure their rights in the work
place. Policies that have been established by
these unions have helped women out in the areas of
sexual harassment, childcare, and parental leave.
(Gregory) These are just a few of the changes that
unions have succeeded to make. Unions in the U.S.
have helped increase equality in wages between men
and women. They have also helped women receive
health and pension benefits. These are all changes
for the better.
Not only for workingwomen, but for
those who do not have jobs outside of the home.
They are helping make it fairer to women in all
situations in society. By becoming equals in the
work place they are also equals in all public
relations. Women have foraged ahead and have
started to take their own destinies into hand. If
women keep fighting for what they want some day
all people will be treated equally no matter what
their gender. Who knows, maybe someday there will
even be a female president. And maybe it will be
Work Sited Denmark, Florence L. and Michele
A. Paludi eds. Psychology of Women: A Handbook of
Issues and Theories. Westport: Greenwood Press,
1993 Gregory, Jeanne, Rosemary Sales, and Ariane
Hegewisch. Women, Work and Inequality: The
Challenge of Equal Pay in a Deregulated Labor
New York: St. Martins Press Inc., 1999
Grunig, Larissa A., Elizabeth Lance Toth, and
Linda Childers Hon. Women in Public Relations: How
Gender Influences Practice. New York: Guiliford
Press, 2001 Portner, Joyce. Impacts of Work on the
Family. University of Minnesota.
2 Dec. 2001. 8
Sutton, Kyanna. Do Working Moms Make Better Moms?
Family Education. Jan. 2002.
8 April 2002.
.html Williams, Christine L. eds. Doing Womens
Work: Men in Nontraditional occupations. Newburg
Park: Sage Publications, Inc., 1993 Working Women:
Equal Pay ALF-CIO Online. July 1998. 8 April 2002.
Research essay sample on Women Entering The Workforce Leading To Greater Equality