Archive for the ‘Women’ Category

Women and Work, Again

August 14, 2007

How’s this for a sobering statistic:

“Women occupy 50.6 percent of managerial and professional positions, according to the research organization Catalyst, but make up only 15.6 percent of Fortune 500 corporate officers.”

This is just one of many gems from a recent NYTimes article about women in the workforce that’s actually in the Business section instead of the Style section. It’s about how many women are now (only half-)joking that they want a wife at home to take care of the housework while these career women actually work. Since, you know, behind every successful man there’s a kick-ass woman and all.

The article also notes that, while working women tend to be penalized for having children–mostly through less overall compensation–working men may actually be rewarded for fatherhood.

But this article also departs from the Times’ usually flippant and matter-of-fact tone toward social phenomena involving women in the workplace. The story may still be slightly flawed, but the author actually acknowledges counter-arguments, cites real studies and statistics about labor discrepancies, and respects women who have career ambitions in addition to family lives.

The tone she takes is closer to a recent NPR story about a new phenomenon sweeping suburban Connecticut: the four-child family as status symbol. Thankfully, NPR does not commit the sin of taking these “trends” as actual sociological trends, but rather looks at the whole thing with a bit of humor and perspective. Their story approaches an anthropological tidbit about the lives of the rich, and their reporting makes this clear.

These are two stories in welcome contrast to the New York Times’ prior coverage.