Category Archives: Working Women

Impact of Work-Life Imbalance on Health of Women

Source: Sarang Shankar Bhola – Karmaveer Bhaurao Patil Institute of Management Studies & Research, and Jyoti Nigade – Shivaji University – Department of Commerce & Management, January 4, 2016
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From the abstract:
Work-life balance is effective management of juggling act between paid work and other activities that are important to people. In case of working woman it is a state of equilibrium in which the demands of both, her job and personal life is equal. But when they can’t maintain this equilibrium what should be the consequences? Present research paper focus on health related consequences, since it is intended to find out whether work-life imbalance affects health of working women, and if yes then to what extent they suffer from. 691 working women were taken as samples which consists 379 from service industry, 176 professionals and 136 entrepreneurs. Schedule consist of 17 variables depicting physical health, 13 variables deals with psychological health and 7 variables deals with reproductive health problems. Samples were asked to opine on suffering with respective health problem measured on dichotomous scale and the extent of suffering from such health problem using five point likert type scales. The null hypothesis i.e. Women working as employee/professional/entrepreneur suffer from medical problems is accepted since majority of medical problems considered in this study are not suffered by majority of samples included in this study. Binomial test is used to test hypothesis. Researcher found that work-life imbalance takes a toll on the health of working women since they are suffered from different physical (exhaustion, frequent headache, server back pain, acidity, eye sight disorders and hair loss), psychological problems (emotional strain, anxiety disorders, sleep disorders and becoming sluggish) and reproductive health problems (irregular periods and miscarriage) due to their work.

Parental Leave Legislation and Women’s Work: A Story of Unequal Opportunities

Source: Sari Pekkala Kerr, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Volume 35 Issue 1, Winter 2016
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From the abstract:
U.S. federal and state family leave legislation requires employers to provide job-protected parental leave for new mothers covered under the legislation. In most cases the leave is unpaid, and rarely longer than 12 weeks in duration. This study evaluates disparities in parental leave eligibility, access, and usage across the family income distribution in the United States. It also describes the links between leave-taking and women’s labor market careers. The focus is especially on low-income families, as their leave coverage and ability to afford taking unpaid leave is particularly poor. This study shows that the introduction of both state and federal legislation increased overall leave coverage, leave provision, and leave-taking. For example, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leads to an increased probability of leave-taking by nearly 20 percentage points and increased average leave length by almost five weeks across all states. The new policies did not, however, reduce gaps between low- and high-income families’ eligibility, leave-taking, or leave length. In addition, the FMLA effects on leave-taking were very similar across states with and without prior leave legislation, and the FMLA did not disproportionately increase leave-taking for women who worked in firms and jobs covered by the new legislation, as these women were already relatively well covered by other parental leave arrangements…..

Women’s earnings compared to men’s earnings in 2014

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, The Economics Daily, November 30, 2015

In 2014, women who were full-time wage and salary workers had median usual weekly earnings of $719. Women’s median earnings were 83 percent of those of male full-time wage and salary workers ($871). Median weekly earnings for women were highest between the ages of 35 and 64. In 2014, there was little or no difference in the earnings of 35- to 44-year-olds ($781), 45- to 54-year-olds ($780), and 55- to 64-year-olds ($780). For men, earnings peaked between the ages of 45 and 64, with 45- to 54-year-olds ($1,011) and 55- to 64-year-olds ($1,021) having similar earnings. Young women and men ages 16 to 24 had the lowest earnings ($451 and $493, respectively).

The Impact of Affirmative Action on the Employment of Minorities and Women: A Longitudinal Analysis Using Three Decades of EEO-1 Filings

Source: Fidan Ana Kurtulus, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Early View, Article first published online: November 26, 2015

From the abstract:
What role has affirmative action played in the growth of minority and female employment in U.S. firms? This paper presents a longitudinal analysis of this question by exploiting rich variation across firms in the timing of federal contracting to identify affirmative action effects over the course of three decades spanning 1973 to 2003. It constitutes the first study to comprehensively document the long-term and dynamic effects of affirmative action in federal contracting on employment composition within firms in the United States. I use a new panel of over 100,000 large private-sector firms from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, including both firms that obtain federal contracts and are therefore mandated to implement affirmative action and firms that are noncontractors, across all industries and regions. The paper’s key results indicate that the primary beneficiaries of affirmative action in federal contracting over 1973 to 2003 were black and Native American women and men. Dynamic event study analysis of workforce composition around the time of contracting reveal that a large part of the effect of affirmative action on increasing protected group shares occurred within the first four years of gaining a contract, and that these increased shares persisted even after a firm was no longer a federal contractor. The paper also uncovers important results on how the impact of affirmative action evolved over 1973 to 2003, in particular that the fastest growth in the employment shares of minorities and women at federal contractors relative to noncontracting firms occurred during the 1970s and early 1980s, decelerating substantially in ensuing years.

Employment Protections for Workers Who Are Pregnant or Nursing

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, 2015

Workers in all states and territories are protected by federal employment laws, including the laws described below the map. States may also pass laws that give specific protections and rights to workers, but they may not reduce or limit the protections provided by federal laws. The map shows which U.S. States have laws, statutes and/or interpretative case law that specifically prohibit pregnancy discrimination and/or that mandate support of nursing mothers expressing milk in the workplace.

The Motherhood Wage Penalty and its Determinants: A Public–Private Comparison

Source: Chloé Duvivier, Mathieu Narcy, Labour: Review of Labour Economics and Industrial Relations, Vol. 29 Issue 4, December 2015
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From the abstract:
We investigate whether public and private sector employees bear a different wage penalty for having children. According to our estimates, the total motherhood wage penalty is much larger in the private than in the public sector. Nevertheless, in both sectors, we find no unexplained penalty once we control for potential determinants of the family pay gap, namely, a reduced labour supply of mothers, child‐related career interruptions, less access to management positions, and adjustments in working conditions. Finally, only child‐related career interruptions play a different role in explaining the motherhood wage penalty in each sector.

Public Sector Unions Promote Economic Security and Equality for Women

Source: Andrea Johnson, Katherine Gallagher Robbins, National Women’s Law Center, November 2015

From the blog post:
At a time when women make up two-thirds of the low-wage workforce and the gender wage gap refuses to die, public sector unions are a beacon of hope for working women. As our new analysis, “Public Sector Unions Promote Economic Security and Equality for Women,” reveals, public sector unions provide much-needed economic security and equality for working women.

Women make up a majority of the public sector workforce, which includes nurses, first responders, teachers, and many other employees whose work is crucial to the health, safety, and prosperity of our communities. Women also make up a majority of union-represented public sector workers. We show that these union-represented women have higher wages and increased participation in employer-based health insurance plans, compared to their non-union-represented counterparts. These women also experience greater equality in wages and health benefits with their male counterparts.

Can We Finish the Revolution? Gender, Work-Family Ideals, and Institutional Constraint

Source: David S. Pedulla, Sarah Thébaud, American Sociological Review, Vol. 80 no. 1, February 2015
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From the abstract:
Why has progress toward gender equality in the workplace and at home stalled in recent decades? A growing body of scholarship suggests that persistently gendered workplace norms and policies limit men’s and women’s ability to create gender egalitarian relationships at home. In this article, we build on and extend prior research by examining the extent to which institutional constraints, including workplace policies, affect young, unmarried men’s and women’s preferences for their future work-family arrangements. We also examine how these effects vary across education levels. Drawing on original survey-experimental data, we ask respondents how they would like to structure their future relationships while experimentally manipulating the degree of institutional constraint under which they state their preferences. Two clear patterns emerge. First, as constraints are removed and men and women can opt for an egalitarian relationship, the majority choose this option, regardless of gender or education level. Second, women’s relationship structure preferences are more responsive than men’s to the removal of institutional constraints through supportive work-family policy interventions. These findings shed light on important questions about the role of institutions in shaping work-family preferences, underscoring the notion that seemingly gender-traditional work-family decisions are largely contingent on the constraints of current workplaces.
Do Women Still Care? Cohort Changes in US Women’s Care for the Ill or Disabled
Source: Eliza K. Pavalko, Joseph D. Wolfe, Social Forces, Advance Access, First published online: October 20, 2015
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From the abstract:
Increases in women’s labor-force participation and the time families spend at work have reduced the time families have available to care for one another. Recent evidence suggests that responses to these challenges vary for different types of care. While time spent on housework has declined, time devoted to care of children has increased. This paper examines cohort changes in another form of unpaid work, care for ill or disabled friends or family members, and assesses the influence of employment, attitudes, and need for care on age and cohort trends in carework. Using data from the National Longitudinal Surveys, we estimate age and cohort differences in carework among women born between 1922 and 1952. We find a decline in overall levels of carework among more recent birth cohorts of women. However, we do not find cohort changes in the probability that women will provide more intense levels of care, defined as nine or more hours of care per week. The amount of illness and disability among family members partially reduces differences between cohorts, but women’s employment and attitudes about work and family do little to clarify changing patterns of care. Overall, our findings suggest that, even after the large-scale social changes of the twentieth century, women will continue to provide carework when necessary. Thus, the real concern for families is not whether ill or disabled members will have care, but rather, whether their careworkers receive the institutional support required to successfully balance paid and unpaid work.