The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Around the world, women are entering into the workforce at an aggressive rate. Women are getting educated, returning back to school after having raised a family, or even entering school with their children. The desire to be successful does not just lie in being a mother who has raised her children successfully, but also succeeding in a career as well. If men can have families and have successful careers, why can’t women? Women are intelligent, ambitious, and very capable of balancing work and life.
What do women around the world want at work? Most women do what they have to do in order to support their family, especially their children, and themselves. Women want to know that they are respected and valued for their work and not be discriminated against because they are women. They want to go to work and not be hit on by perverted male co-workers or bosses. They do not want to be judged by what they look like or what they are wearing. They want to be able to advance and receive recognition for all they do. They want to be paid for what they are worth. Women want what anyone wants in the workplace: To make a living and do so fairly and comfortably.
As a woman and given the choice between a $12 an hour job working from home or a $15 an hour job driving 45 minutes to an hour away from home, which one would women choose?
$15/hr = $600/week (about $520 after taxes) or $2400 a month (about $1800 after taxes)
$12/hr = $480/week (about $420 after taxes) or $1920 a month (about $1400 after taxes)
Lets say the $12 an hour job is Job A and the $15 an hour job is Job B.
Job A: $12 per hour
- Work from home @ 40 hours a week
- No raise
- No room for advancement
- No vacation time
Job B: $15 per hour
- Work in an office an hour away @ 40 hours a week
- Potential raise
- Potential room for advancement
- Vacation time (1 week for the first year, 2 weeks the 2nd year, and up to 3 weeks the third year)
I would think this would be a tough choice for some women.
Some women would choose the $15 an hour job because it is a few extra dollars and would help cover a few extra bills. The $15 an hour job would provide a potential opportunity to advance their careers, a potential raise, and allows for vacation time. I underline potential because many jobs promise these things, but it could take a year or many more to achieve them, if the company gives them at all. Most career-oriented women who either don’t have families or want to start families at a later time would probably choose this option.
Women who might be looking for extra money, or who are closer to their families, already have children, or want to be closer to their children, may choose the $12 an hour job. It might be worthwhile to forego the extra $3 an hour as well as the extra 10 hour a week travel time that would be incurred driving to and from work everyday.
Which would you choose and what are your expectations from your job? I leave this up to women to answer in the comments.
The infographic below is a study done by LinkedIn surveying women around the world and what they want at work.
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What Women Want @ Work
A Global LinkedIn Study
SUCCESS THEN & NOW
What does “success at work” mean to you now?
NOW 63% Finding the right balance between work and personal life
What did “success at work” mean to you now 5 or 10 years ago?
THEN 56% Earning a high salary
Would you say your career has been a success so far?
You can “have it all”: fulfilling career, relationship, and children – true – 74%
I am a career focused woman but as soon as I have children, I plan to slow down my career – false – 57%
Would you like a more flexible work environment?
Yes, I have family and flexible working would enable me to better manage my career and family … 65%
Not now but when I have a family it will be important …. 21%
No, I am focused on my career and don’t need flexible working … 14%
What are the challenges that affect your career?
No clear career path … 51%
No investment in professional development … 47%
Inequality in pay … 44%
The Ugly Truth?
Do you believe that your appearance affects your career?
49% I’m aware that my physical appearance makes an impression but it has NOT had a major impact on my career
12% I’m aware that my appearance plays a part and I sometimes USE it to my advantage
15% I’m aware that my physical appearance makes an impress and it HAS had a major impact on my career
22% No not at my appearance is irrelevant to my career
In February 2013, LinkedIn partnered with Cross-Tab to survey more than 5,300 working women across 13 countries in celebration and support of International Women’s Day on March 8th. Over 400 respondents between the ages of 18 – 65 were surveyed in each market to better understand the challenges that women face in their careers, how women have viewed success in the past, and what success means now, if professional women worldwide believe they can balance work and family and how online networks can help them with their careers.
Matthew Gates is a freelance web designer and currently runs Confessions of the Professions.