Family, not financial, needs drive women’s work decisions
Thursday, October 13, 2011
consideration about women and work is wrongly centered on financial need,
rather than family need, new research by a Pennsylvania State University
women respond to pressure to be selfless mothers -- whether they say they work
to earn money "to support their children" or they report staying home
"to take care of their family" -- most are citing family need, not
financial pressure, as driving their employment decisions, according to "For
the Family? How Class and Gender Shape Women’s Work,” by Sarah Damaske, assistant
professor of labor studies and employment relations at Penn State.
financial resources make it easier for women to
remain at work, not easier to leave it, she noted.
at home and in the workplace requires a new political commitment to reduce work/family
conflict, create a changed work environment, develop family-friendly policies,
raise the minimum wage, provide a national daycare system and ensure equal
opportunities across race, class and gender, she concluded.
"New work/family policies that include healthcare, childcare and
time-off allowances would bolster women's employment, benefiting both women and
their families and the long-term prospects of our national economy,” Damaske