It’s no surprise to me that the Rockefeller Foundation’s recent poll shows that “women have become dominant in our society … women will soon constitute a MAJORITY OF THE WORKFORCE; they earn 57% of college degrees; and they make 75% of buying decision in the home,” as was published in this weeks Time Magazine.
It’s also no surprise to me that women are not as “concerned with equality issues, nor are they patting themselves on the back for their pre-eminence – they are simply dealing with the often bewildering changes and uncertainty in our economy as breadwinners, spouses, mothers and daughters. It’s not the anachronistic battle of the sexes anymore but how we all – women and men – grapple with a new economy and new era.”
Personally, I always grew up with a “working Mom” and one who truly excelled in her career. My own Mom was the 1st female executive, EVER, of Magnavox Corporation in the 1970’s, and was featured on the front cover of a marketing/trade magazine that was the first time, EVER, that a female graced the front cover. We are talking some 30+ years ago! So to me … it is no surprise that working women are excelling in the workforce, and honestly, I am NOT surprised that given the recent economy … working women are now becoming the dominant players.
Women’s lib is no longer the “hot button.” According to Time Magazine, there are more than 145 foundations today designed to empower women around the world, in the belief that this is the greatest possible weapon against poverty and disease (compare this to only ONE major foundation in 1972 – the Ms. Foundation). Look at the recent winners of the Nobel Prize … five women won the Nobel Prizes in the same year for Medicine, Chemistry, Economics, and Literature.
Look at our past election year --- Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin, Tina Fey and Katie Couric were lead players, not the supporting cast. And we all know that President Obama was raised by a single mother and married a lawyer who outranked and out earned him.
The statistical look back from the 1970’s to today, by Time, is unbelievable:
* Today, 57% of college students are all women, compared to in 1972 it was 43%
* Today, 95 our of 252 (38%) of ALL TV-News correspondents at ABC, CBS and NBC Today, 71% of women with children under age 18 are in the labor force, compared with 47% in 1975.
* Today, 32% of females are layers, compared with 3% in 1970.
* Today, 28% are medical doctors compared to 8% in 1970.
Now, don’t think we’re on level playing ground … because we are NOT yet.
Women have made gains in pay, but STILL lag behind men (in 1972, for every $1 men made, women earned $0.58, whereas in 2008 women earned $0.77 for every $1 men earned).
Are women happier? Does this “NEW” dominance and power bring satisfaction? Not necessarily. According to University of Pennsylvania economist Justin Wolfers, women are now free to wrestle with the same pressures and conflicts that once accounted for greater male unhappiness…. Modern life in a global economy is simply more stressful for everyone but especially for women, who are working longer hours WHILE playing quarterback at home. Equal numbers of men and women report frequent stress in daily life. Something in life must bend.
As for me, at Catalogs.com, let’s see (mother of 3, daughter of 2 parents who are ailing, philanthropist, employer, and CRAZED woman). Am I happy … well, I will buck the trend and disagree with Time Magazine and yell a resounding YES – I’M HAPPY! Though I’m stressed and desperately trying to find the time for my 1 hour deep tissue message that was given to me 14 months ago as a birthday present, I still can say I’m happy. I truly believe, in my heart, that women are more satisfied and feeling better about themselves than they did in the 1970’s. It might be the simple fact that today, we have more choices … we have the ability (or control) to alter our lives … we have more education opportunities …. We have technology that is aiding our efficiencies and improving our multi-tasking roles … we essentially have more tools which lead to more options.