Women at Work

“Why 26% of U.S women still choose not to work” by Annalyn Kurtz

Some of you might know that I am currently in school trying to get my MBA… as a result, I end up reading Business current events almost everyday. Here is the result:

This article was chosen out of the curiosity that sparked to me by the title. It is astonishing to me that women are still choosing not to work because I work in the fashion industry and all I see is women; all day, everyday. It would have made more sense if the article’s title were “ Why 26% of U.S women still can’t find a job” but nonetheless, apparently this is reality and so we will discuss it.

According to Blau and Kahn, two economists from Cornell University, women in the United States are choosing not to work due to the lack of family oriented labor laws. In the United States, it is legal for women to be on maternal leave for 12 weeks; it does not sound terrible until you hear this next part; these 12 weeks you get to spend with your cute little child are unpaid. Some decades ago, when women were first accepted into the work force, thousands of women joined the corporate world; in 1993, 74% of women in the United States were either employed or looking for a job (Kurtz 2013). That number has not increased since then, and unpaid maternity leave might be the answer. The article also discusses the labor laws in Sweden, which are totally different than in the United States. In Sweden, the employer has the legal obligation to hold the job of either the father or the mother for a little over a year while still paying them their salary (Kurtz 2013). 

This article relates to Organizational Behavior because in the end, it is all about motivation. Every one in this world is different and different things motivate different people but family seems to be one of the most important things in life throughout the different cultures, countries, languages and religions. Maslow’s theory of motivation indicates that human needs come in a form of hierarchy. Basics needs are to be fulfilled first before other things come into consideration. It is understood that love is a basic need and with love comes family as with family comes love. We live in a world where competitiveness is incredibly high and this might be the real reason why 74% of women do work. The women that have the option to either work or not work are choosing the latter because of labor laws as well as high costs of child care and stagnant wages.

This article taught me that although it might look like women are “taking over” the corporate world, there is still a little hesitation due to motivating factors. It is natural for a woman to want to nurse her child but when labor laws are too restrictive, they might opt for being a stay-at-home mom instead of pursuing their careers which is concerning due to all the talent and intelligence that we might never know of.

If you were so fortunate to not have to work, would you choose to be a career lady or a stay-at-home mommy?