[Smlr_net] [IWS] Pew: THE HARRIED LIFE of the WORKING MOTHER [1 October 2009]]

Eugene McElroy sagauro at rci.rutgers.edu
Thu Oct 1 16:33:12 EDT 2009

Pew Research Center

The Harried Life of the Working Mother
by Kim Parker, Senior Researcher, Pew Research Center
October 1, 2009



Women now make up almost half of the U.S. labor force, up from 38% in 1970.
This nearly 40-year trend has been fueled by a broad public consensus about
the changing role of women in society. A solid majority of Americans (75%)
reject the idea that women should return to their traditional roles in
society, and most believe that both husband and wife should contribute to
the family income.

But in spite of these long-term changes in behaviors and attitudes, many
women remain conflicted about the competing roles they play at work and at
home. Working mothers in particular are ambivalent about whether full-time
work is the best thing for them or their children; they feel the tug of
family much more acutely than do working fathers. As a result, most working
mothers find themselves in a situation that they say is less than ideal.

They're also more likely than either at-home moms or working dads to feel
as if there just isn't enough time in the day. Four-in-ten say they always
feel rushed, compared with a quarter of the other two groups. But despite
these pressures and conflicts, working moms, overall, are as likely as
at-home moms and working dads to say they're happy with their lives.

Whether women work outside the home or not, family responsibilities have a
clear impact on the key life choices they make. Roughly three-in-ten women
who are not currently employed (27%) say family duties keep them from
working. And family appears to be one of the key reasons that many do not
break through the "glass ceiling" to the top ranks of management -- that's
the view, anyway, of about a third of the public.


Stuart Basefsky
Director, IWS News Bureau
Institute for Workplace Studies
Cornell/ILR School
16 E. 34th Street, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10016

Telephone: (607) 255-2703
Fax: (607) 255-9641
E-mail: smb6 at cornell.edu

Eugene McElroy
Rutgers University
School of Management and Labor Relations Library
50 Labor Center Way
New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901
tel: 732-932-9513


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