The Influence of Caregiving

In last week’s article Gender Roles & the Workplace Pt. 1 (Wage Gap), I talked about how women are paid less due to various gender-related factors–some of them unintentionally.

For example, women often have less work experience because of maternity leave and employers often associate working moms with lots of sick days, long lunch breaks, and lack of focus.

These stereotypes (both real and projected) stem from attitudes created by the stigma that men are not/should not be involved in raising children.

If paternity leave was more commonly offered and not so frowned upon by society, male employers would be more understanding of mothers who took time off to recuperate from giving birth/bond with their child/raise said child, because they would be doing the same thing!

See this brilliant video here for more on why paternity leave should be a normal thing.

And again, if dads were more involved, and not criticized for it, male employers wouldn’t think twice about hiring a mom because A) they would know a mom can still kick ass even while, in fact, worrying a little bit about Emma’s diet since they do too and B) they would also be using their sick days to tend to their kids, which would even out the gender gap.

The fact that these stereotypes still exist, as Laura Perlongo so aptly says in her video, “It’s basically saying that taking care of a child is a woman’s job.” Which is totally sexist and harmfully and rude and generally suck-ish. And, obviously, doesn’t promote a good work environment which actually serves to detract from business performance. Besides, moms are often better workers because of their motherhood, not in spite of it.

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As seen here on Odyssey


P.S. Follow up with the third and final installment of the Gender Roles & the Workplace mini-series here!

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