Gender and Work-Life Balance

Traditionally, women were believed to belong at home performing domestic duties. As industrialization set in, the world has witnessed women empowerment with the number of women in the job market increasing annually. Similarly, there have been significant changes in work schedules. Recent research indicates that most individuals are shifting from the standard working period of eight hours a day to twenty-four hours a day and this could be attributed to the tough economy and the complicated nature of family life today. The study also noted that despite the increased publicity surrounding gender inequality in workplaces, the gap between men and women regarding earnings and positions held is still significant.

Research indicates that men are more likely to be hired into entry-level jobs than women, even though both men and women have equal education qualifications. In terms of holding higher positions in organizations, statistics showed that only 79 women compared to every 100 men are promoted to managerial positions in workplaces(England, 2017). The reduced chance of promotion for women results from the reduced number of women hired at the entry-level. Regarding payments, women have lower earnings than their male counterparts. However, economists report that the gender pay gap is narrowing in the United States. The gap reduced from 6.5% to 4.6% between 2011 and 2018 (England, 2017). Economists are optimistic that given the increasing number of women going to schools, the gap will adjust even further.

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The advantages of flexible work schedules and responsibilities are increased employee productivity since employees can budget on their time to accommodate personal activities and puts less pressure on the individual thus, one can work efficiently (Silbermann, 2015). Moreover, employees can work anywhere provided they deliver on the organization’s expectations. Flexible schedules also promote employees’ organizational skills. Conversely, the disadvantages include the fact that flexible working schedules reduce the amount of contact between co-workers and may cause a lack of cohesiveness in the organization. Moreover, flexible schedules may be costly since they involve the use of technological devices such as laptops which are expensive to purchase. Another disadvantage is that flexible schedules make it challenging to distinguish between work and home and the employees are likely to receive calls from their bosses even at night.

The ratio of older adults in America is increasing, and thus many workers are likely to be caring for a loved one at home. Human resources offer benefits to such employees in the form of flexible work options, employee assistance programs, back up care, planning services and expanded insurance coverage. The human resource benefits for offering such care include the fact that they can retain employees who would otherwise quit work to take care of their loved ones (Feierabend & Staffelbach, 2016). Companies providing the benefits also experience ease in recruiting efforts since people enjoy working in organizations that understand them and allow them the flexibility to attend to personal issues. More benefits for offering childcare are improved turn over and reduced absenteeism which leads to increased productivity.

Improved work-life balances make employees feel a sense of ownership over their lives and thus tend to have improved relations with the employers. Balanced employees feel more motivated and have reduced stress at work, which makes them more productive. As a result, the company experienced reduced conflicts between co-workers and even the management and increased teamwork which results in more significant results for the organization.

References

England, P. (2017). Households, employment, and gender: A social, economic, and demographic view. Routledge.

Feierabend, A., & Staffelbach, B. (2016). Crowding out reciprocity between working parents and companies with corporate childcare. Human Resource Management, 55(5), 771-787.Silbermann, R. (2015). Gender roles, work-life balance, and running for office. Quarterly Journal of Political Science, 10(2), 123-153.

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