I wanted to share our Work Muse manifesto from International Women’s Day with our awesome group:
On International Women’s Day, at Work Muse, we choose to honor this day with a commitment to challenging gender stereotypes and bias starting in the workplace.
The first: that women are seen as less committed when they become mothers while men are seen as breadwinners needing to provide.
The Motherhood Penalty is real and impedes women’s abilities to provide for their families and themselves through retirement and beyond.
Truthfully, we should call it the Caregiver Penalty. As if one giant financial setback isn’t enough, women hit a second whammy well into their careers when they need to step out or back to care for their aging parents. In the U.S., up to 90% of caregivers to aging parents are women. And without readily available and affordable healthcare, they’re often forced to make this sacrifice.
We women face a structural and systemic problem dependent on a workplace designed during the Industrial Revolution when women simply weren’t part of it.
In addition, the U.S. (once a leader in working women through the 90s) has fallen off the map due to a critical failure to make changes to workplaces as women for the first time ever — in 2020 — outnumber men in the workplace.
The time for these changes is now beginning with paid parental leave, equal pay, affordable childcare and healthcare, and flexible work practice rights.
Above and beyond, all workplaces should have company-wide gender bias training for salary, hiring, and promotion practices that don’t penalize women for being caregivers.