Work-Life Balance: More Than a Philosophy

March 18, 2010

Women now make up half of the U.S. workforce, yet policies such as flexible scheduling that help women juggle work-life responsibilities are not prioritized by our lawmakers. This is a problem when more and more women not only have caregiving responsibilities but also serve as primary breadwinners.

As part of the Fem2.0 work-life blog carnival, I have contributed a blog entry to about the need for more flexible work-life policies to help employees meet the often-competing demands of their work and home lives.

But that’s only one of the issues facing employees with regard to juggling work and life responsibilities. We also need to address the wage gap facing women in the working world as well as the effects that gap has on their families.

As Lecia Imbery, AAUW’s grassroots coordinator in public policy and government relations, wrote in her recent blog post, “Wage discrimination hurts the majority of American families. And in these tough economic times, when more and more families are counting on a woman’s paycheck to make ends meet, pay equity is even more important, not simply to family economic security today and retirement security tomorrow, but also to the nation’s current economic recovery.”

How do we guarantee that women earn equal pay for equal work? Lilly Ledbetter and I wrote about that very topic in an op-ed featured on the Huffington Post. We talked about the need for the Senate to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act. It is the next piece of the pay equity puzzle and will help to close loopholes left in anti-discrimination law. We urge all women and families everywhere to contact their senators and ask them to co-sponsor the Paycheck Fairness Act — and to do so now because a hearing occurred on March 11.

The issues surrounding the pressures of time and our work and home lives are entwined with other issues such as pay equity, paid sick leave, etc. AAUW has strong policy and programmatic platforms that work across these concerns to enact better social policies that affect everyone, not just women. We need our legislators on the Hill to take work-life issues seriously and push forward better policies for the benefit of the public and our struggling economy. As Lilly Ledbetter and I said in our op-ed, “The women of America have waited long enough.”

This post was written as a contribution to Fem2.0’s work-life blog carnival, which is part of the Wake Up, This Is the Reality! campaign.

By:   |   March 18, 2010

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