The mommy track has become a very real concern when it comes to women who want to have a rewarding career and still have children. Since women make up half the workforce in today’s society, the previous views or perspective that a woman cannot due both successfully has become a hot topic. Previously, it was expected that once a woman decided to have a child, she would have to switch to a part time job with little chance for advancement since she would not be able to devote the time needed to be successful as she advanced her career.
Another possibility was that she would decide to leave the company altogether and raise the children as a full time mother. With women’s rights advancing and government protections being created for ensure fair treatment and equality among the sexes, making headway. It seems that there is a very real need to create specific rules and policies within a company to give these women a fair chance to be able to balance both lives.
Gender bias and antiquated thinking seem to impede a woman’s ability to return to work after they take a hiatus to carry a child to term and adapt to the new aspect of raising a child in their lives. Most women believe that after their maternity leave is done they should be able to resume work and continue on their career path as modern women. What women have been facing when they return to work, is not a fair treatment, but more of a lack of options.
Many firms end up passing on women who have a family and choose those who do not since their schedule is far more flexible and they are not called away from work to deal with the situations and needs a child demands. With technology becoming an essential tool in everyday business use and communications globally becoming readily available instead of face-top-face meetings, one would think that this problem shouldn’t exist as much as it does.
Some of the reasons that women aren’t able to continue on the career path is that most companies haven’t created policies to match the current demands that female employees need in order to continue being valuable members of their workforce. Telecommuting or even job-share with a skillful management style used in delegating tasks would cut out a lot of the efficiency and production loss that many companies express concerns about when it comes to promoting career mothers.
Another debate is that men are more comfortable working with other men in the higher levels of management. Especially when the job involves late-night meetings and business conferences that involve traveling to many parts of the world and having to share a hotel room. The fear of sexual misconduct is a valid concern, but also a fear that a woman with a child may have to cancel her trip at the last moment to take care of her family rather than choose to continue on with the flight to the meeting or conference.
A business would be hard pressed to find a replacement on such short notice, so instead of taking the risk or creating a backup solution, they typically choose the childless female or another male. This should become a smaller problem over time, as younger men used to coed dorms and female roommates become managers. It may be possible that male managers fear that a female employee for promotion, however capable, will be more distracted by family matters than a male would be. They might assume that women are less able to handle competition and pressure.
However, this fear is also assumed by female managers as well. Unless companies learn to adapt to the needs of their employees and accept that a change in how women are perceived and that having children is not an impediment to business productivity, these problems will persist. More women currently, are earning degrees ove their male counterparts and this means that those who choose to have children and denied the opportunity to advance within the company, will lose a lot of very educated and talented members they need in their workforce.