I recently read an interesting article regarding women, education and the workforce. It talked about how many women are very smart and major in tough disciplines in college – like math and engineering – but end up not working in those fields once they enter the workforce.
At this point, some of you might be thinking that these women are not in these fields because of a lack of jobs. According to the article, it is actually because of their choosing. Women choose to take on less demanding jobs as careers because they don’t feel as though they can raise a family and have a challenging career at the same time.
Before anyone reading this gets upset with me for writing this, I emphasize that I am simply restating what the article mentioned. For me personally, I feel that it is sad that women still feel this way. As a finance major all throughout college, I sat down and talked with many financial services firms. One firm in particular, PriceWaterHouseCoopers has an excellent work-life culture for its employees. But during that meeting with the representative from PwC, they were still having a hard time finding women that wanted to take on the role of directors within the company.
How To Change The Culture
My question is, how do we change this? Is it something that the business world needs to get out in front of more? Do other successful women need to come to the forefront as examples to other women, showing them that having a family and a demanding job can co-exist?
Could the problem just be with women themselves? Maybe they are assuming a demanding job and raising a family cannot be done? Or maybe they just don’t want to let their employer down. For example, they take the demanding job and after a few months or a year or so, they realize it’s too much. They feel bad for “letting the company down”. I am just hypothesizing here as I have no answer.
What Can Be Done
So what are your thoughts on this issue? Chime in regardless if you are a man or woman. What are your experiences with women balancing work and family? Can it be done? Does on all depend on the person and or the job itself?
Or, at the end of the day, does it really matter? There are plenty of men out there that forego leadership roles as well, we just don’t hear about them that much. Choosing a career is a personal choice – but is it influenced by wanting to have a family?