Among the top concerns for working women in 2018 according to a survey by the Thomson Reuters Foundation are: work-life balance, attaining equal pay, harassment concerns, establishing career opportunities and juggling work and children.
The report was funded by the Rockefeller foundation and aimed to quantify the working woman’s subjective experience in the workplace. Countless data has been obtained previously regarding salaries, qualifications and percentage of gender-based workforce presence. These five issues however were interestingly found to be common ground even for women in economically diverse and advanced countries such as Brazil, the US, UK, Australia, Germany and France.
Some of the factors influencing a woman’s confidence that she could have a family without damaging her career included generosity of maternal laws in her country and a societal culture of family ties. Brazil for example rated highly in this confidence measure, whereas women in richer countries such as France, Germany and UK surprisingly revealed lower rates of confidence.
Undoubtedly and perhaps more so than maternal laws generosity, a culture of strong family ties are a significant factor, where a strong family network gives mothers the support they need to focus on advancing and maintaining their careers.
Beyond the scope of this survey are other issues faced by women in the workforce, such as pregnancy discrimination, appearance expectations, exclusion from “men’s clubs” in the office, unsupportive managers, office favoritism in male dominated professions, gender bias, pay gaps and workplace discrimination.
Without a doubt, the position women occupy in today’s workforce compared with thirty years ago has come a long way. Women Doctors, Pioneers, Businesswomen, Biologists, Engineers, Architects, Bio-medical scientists, physicists and more- women can do it all as good as their male counterparts and even better. Workplace gender diversity has no doubt contributed to economic and humanitarian advances in the developed world.
Tian Wei a female CCTV News reporter at the world economic forum states: “Any society that fails to harness the energy and creativity of its women is at a huge disadvantage in the modern world.”
Shirley Chrisholm, the first African-American woman elected to the US congress said: “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.”
Drew Gilpin Faust the president of Harvard University said: “I’m not the woman president of Harvard, I’m the president of Harvard.”
Although the confidence of working women has improved and is continuing to improve, we need to conduct another worldwide survey in the next 10 years. Not only should women be granted equal conditions to men, they should at the very least be entitled to a fear-less working environment. The future of humankind depends on it.