Career Crises that Affect Women

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Introduction

Women have always been the glue that keeps families together; we are the one with the strong shoulders that men lean on. In the 21th century we are not just wives, mothers, business women, doctors, lawyer, and Indian Chief, we also provide the extra the income to help take care of our families. Many more women today who have choice to work outside the home, in turn they have to work double duty if they have a family. Not only do they put in 8 hours at work, they have to put in another 8 hours or more once they get home. With cooking, cleaning, laundry, checking homework, children’s after school activities, and managing other day to day events all this without a pay. In many homes without a lot of help from their spouse, does this sound familiar?

“During the 1950s, no more than 20 to 30 percent of mothers (with children aged 18 or younger) were employed outside the home, and these were primarily poor women who needed to work to pay their bills. Very few middle and upper-class women worked then; they didn’t have to. By the late 1980s, however, 70 percent of American mothers were employed outside the home, either full or part-time. Since then, the numbers appear to have plateau Pregnancy (2019).” Juggling multiple roles can be irritating, frustrating and distressing . When a woman’s demands exceed her resources for managing them, stress and strain result”” (“Coping with Families and Careers”).

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, three out of four households today have two working parents. The ratio is similar in most other industrialized nations. Another statistic worth noting is that two thirds of married mothers with preschool-aged children are in the paid labor force. At least half of these women are going back to work within three to five months of giving birth (Sweat). This is quite a shift from the 1970s and 1980s (Sweat). A generation ago most mothers waited until their children were in school before returning to work(Sweat) . Now most mothers of preschool-aged children work outside the home. Juggling multiple roles can be irritating, frustrating and distressing. When a woman’s demands exceed her resources for managing them, stress and strain result. “Many women find themselves with too much to do, trying to balance family responsibilities with work obligations” (Pregnancy (2019).

“The inequality between men and women has been one of the biggest sociological problems of the 20th century. Not only inequalities in the home but also in the workforce. Women comprise 46 percent of the workforce, and will account for 48 percent of the labor force by 2005 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 1998). Their wages have become a vital part of the family income, and in some cases, the sole support of families. “Many women work because they are the sole support of their family. Also, the decreasing real value of men’s wages over the last two decades has made it nearly impossible to support a family on one income. As Rona Foroohar argues that women are allowed to have a job but not a high – powered career; nonetheless males are (2006, Myth and Reality, Newsweek, p.40), (Pregnancy 2019).”

Family Issues

Once a woman has chosen a career path she still has to experience stress and pressures in the workplace. The main three types of career crises that affect women are Making decisions based on how and who helps to raise your children – family issues, Discrimination, and Sexual harassment. Women’s lives are affected by the roles they take on for example; wife, mother, worker, and caretaker. While in the past women organized their lives mainly to meet family-related ideas, some combination of work and family is the lifestyle preference of most women today (“Coping with Families and Careers”). Many women have to temporary re-enter into the work environment due to maternity leave, raising children, marriage, divorce, and the death of a child, husband, or parent. A woman who tries to combine a career and a family is soon reminded that she’s displaying the socially accepted norms. She finds herself in a seemingly no-win situation. The possessions associated with the role of wife and mother is seen to be unsuited with those qualities associated with success in the job-related field.

Sexual Harassment

Definition: A form of sexual discrimination that includes sexual threats, sexual bribery, sexual jokes or comments, or touching that interferes with a person doing her job. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission provides” this definition: “”Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when (1) submission to such conduct is made a term or condition of employment; (2) submission or rejection is used as the basis for employment decisions; or (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating (a hostile working environment, Pregnancy (2019).” Sexual harassment may be an unexpected, involuntary crisis that threatens a woman’s career and psychological health (Herbert). Here are a few types. Till’s 5 levels of sexual harassment (Herbert):

  • Level 1: Gender Harassment – verbal remarks or non-touching behaviors that are sexual in nature
  • Level 2: Seductive Behavior – inappropriate sexual advances
  • Level 3: Sexual Bribery – request for sexual activity in turn for some kind of reward
  • Level 4: Sexual Coercion – individual is coerced into sexual activity by threat of punishment
  • Level 5: Sexual Assault – forceful attempts to touch, grab, fondle

Adult women who are sexually harassed – 16% to 90% (Herbert); other studies – 25% to 50%, most cases are the least severe level. What are the sociological theories explaining sexual harassment?

The conflict perspective theorizes that sexual inequality “”is based on a conflict of interest between men and women.”” Sexual harassment arises from the inequality between men and women who are working, along with a “”general cultural atmosphere of sexism”” seeking to maintain traditional sex roles. The conflict perspective maintains that sexual harassment is a “”form of social control designed to maintain the status quo.””

Gender Discrimination

“The gender gap at work is still alive and well according to research that examined gender roles in the workplace. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics cites women working 41 to 44 hours per week earn 84.6% of what men working similar hours earn. It gets worse as women work longer hours, women working more than 60 hours per week earn only 78.3% of what men in the same time category earn” Pregnancy (2019). Gender discrimination in the workplace is an important issue that affects many women throughout the world. You have unfair and unequal pay and compensation among women in the discrimination is historical.

However, sexual segregation has persisted for so long that it must be beneficial for the consumerist system as a whole. By keeping women separate and subservient with lower wages than men, firms exploit sexual discrimination and are able to maintain higher profits. The statistics below are based on 2010 figures derived from the Current Population Survey (CPS), a national monthly survey of approximately 60,000 households conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. They represent national annual averages for U.S. median usual weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers (in parentheses) with women’s earnings shown as a percentage of men’s earnings. Fortunately, the gender wage gap has been steadily closing. In 1979, the gender wage gap was much greater with female full-time wage and salary workers 16 years and older earning just 62.3% of male workers. Just over three decades later, women’s earnings had increased to 81.2%. The statistics below are based on 2010 figures derived from the Current Population Survey (CPS), a national monthly survey of approximately 60,000 households conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. They represent national annual averages for U.S. median usual weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers (in parentheses) with women’s earnings shown as a percentage of men’s earnings.

Conclusion

The career crises that affect women follow many patterns with going in and out of the labor Force. In the year 2012, women’s “wages have become an essential part of the family income”, and in many cases, the sole support of families. Many women work because they are the sole support of their family. Also, the declining real value of men’s wages over the last two decades has made it nearly impossible to support a family on one income” Pregnancy (2019… With decimation and sexual harassment Issues, I would recommend that women need to build a supportive social network that looks at their employment needs (as well as the personal needs). As counselors, teaching/discussion groups for this audience will have a strong effect and positive outcomes. Women and girls can gain from interacting with others who have similar pressures; these sessions can foster a coping skills as well as developing strategies to avoid these issues.

References

  1. Applying Career Developing Theory of Counseling, Richard S. Staff pg.297.
  2. M. MPoloma and T. N. Garland, “”The Married Professional Woman: A Study in the Tolerance of Domestication,”” Journal of Marriage and the Family, XXXIII (No. 3,1971),531-39.
  3. http://www.helium.com/items/694559-types-of-sexual-harassment
  4. http://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/0312/The-Impact-Of-Financial-Crisis-On-Women-And-Girls.aspx#ixzz1xg53W03V
  5. //lifestyleandcareerdevelopment.blogspot.com/2008/10/career-ccrisisaffecting-women-and.html
  6. http://womensissues.about.com/od/GenderDiscrimination/a/Gender-Wage-Gap-Statistics-Facts-Reveal-Women-Earn-Less-Than- Men.htm
  7. Pregnancy. (2019). Teenage Pregnancy. Retrieved from https://www.encyclopedia.com/children/applied-and-social-sciences-magazines/teenage-pregnancy
  8. Speaking of Women’s Health, speakingofwomenshealth.com/health-library/coping-with-families-and-careers.
  9. Herbert, Kevin. KRUMBOLTZ’S SOCIAL LEARNING THEORY, 1 Jan. 1970, www.lifestyleandcareerdevelopment.com/2008/10/career-crises-affecting-women-and.html.
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Career Crises That Affect Women. (2019, Dec 10). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/career-crises-that-affect-women/

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