Goodbye to the Apron and Hello to the Briefcase
Posted on August 16, 2011 by Gail Danneman
Long behind are the days where every mother stayed home with children and tended to housework. Women have put on their heels and suits, and headed to the job market. There is a more even ratio of men to women in the workplace.
The “glass ceiling” or belief that women are unable to obtain higher-level jobs because of gender has decreased significantly. Because women are becoming the majority in most organizations, a shift in the market has been occurring. Last year, it was reported that women possessed more advanced degrees (masters degrees) than men. As a female finishing graduate school these findings give me a lot of hope for the future.
Women face different work-life balance issues than men. If a woman has children, there can be significant amounts of stress placed on the woman to balance work and family. Some women have the flexibility with their job to pick their children up from school and spend the rest of the evening at home. However, not all women have this luxury. This may place a woman and her family in a difficult predicament: is childcare appropriate?
Throughout my life, I have had several strong women mentors. One of my psychology professors in undergrad had the biggest impact on my career choices. She was a full-time professor and mother of two children, one of whom was a special needs child. Throughout my time knowing this professor, I was inspired by how well she balanced her work and family life. She always made time to meet with students after work and talked about how much she adored her children. This professor demonstrated that although I am a female, I could also have a career that I enjoy by attending graduate school.
My mom has also been a positive influence in my view of women in the workplace. As a self-employed dietitian, my mom always took me to ballet, soccer practice, basketball practice, and to school events. Her job was extremely flexible as I grew up and she was able to schedule patients around my brothers and my activities. From a very early age, my mom was a strong role model for my hopes for the future. I credit her example to my desire to strive for the next step.
Because of the strong career women I have had in my life, I believe my life has been influenced for the better. I have never doubted myself in my future career because of my gender. I have witnessed women’s success and heard stories of how anything is possible. My hope for my future career is that I am able to balance work and family with as much finesse as I have observed from my mentors.
Do you think women can have both a career and family and maintain a healthy balance? What are your tricks?