Focusing on the lack of women directors in corporate boardrooms
paints a grim picture. Sure, there aren't enough women on
corporate boards and women are still paid less for the same
job that a male colleague does, but despite these realities,
the career model is changing and integrating more women
into the workforce.
There are technological and social changes that offer women
and men opportunities to find a balance between their career
There are now more opportunities to work from home via the Internet,
or through direct sales such as Mary Kay and Pampered Chef
companies. The Internet and direct sales allow flexible
hours and opportunities for men and women to share the child
We can now attend a university over the Internet and obtain
a degree without ever stepping foot in the classroom. Now
that I am a stay-at-home mom, the option of online classes
or working from home is very appealing. It decreases the
time away from my son and the time he would be spending
in child care.
Technology has allowed my family to spend more time together
with less hours commuting, and less time and money spent
on child care.
The career model is also changing because dads have a larger
role in families. In the '50s or '60s, dads often saw their
newborns for the first time through the window of the nursery.
They weren't even part of the delivery.
Now dads are taking an active role before, during and after
labor. Companies are realizing it is just as important for
dads to be at home as it is for moms during those first
few weeks. Companies have granted maternal
leave, often paid, for years.
Why shouldn't it be the same for dads? Working
Mother magazine polled 100 of the best employers in
2003 and of those, 39 percent offered paid paternity leave.
My husband was granted two weeks after my son was born.
It was important for me to have him home because it was
a large adjustment not only caring for my son, but also
physically and emotionally after the delivery.
As more companies offer paternal leave, this will redistribute
the responsibilities of starting a family between the mother
Another way the career model is changing is who is making
the most money? With an unstable economy and daycare costs
at $500 a month for one child, an all-time high, some families
have to crunch the numbers and decide if it is economical
for both parents to work. There are 10.8 million stay-at-home
moms and the number of stay-at-home dads is on the rise
at about 147,000 according to rebeldad.com.
Families are realizing the importance of at least one parent
staying at home to raise the kids. Taking a year off from
school to have my son wasn't a sacrifice at all. If anything,
it has made me realize that I want to obtain my degree,
not to immediately return to work, but to have options for
Being a part of the workforce is important to me someday.
At this time, I would rather focus on my family and my degree.
My goal is to provide a good life for my family and be successful,
and by successful I mean having a happy, healthy family
with a comfortable living.
If we are able to achieve those standards with one of us
working and one of us staying at home with the kids, then
that is more important than any top position with any company.
I can never get these precious years back, so the workforce
is going to have to wait.