Thursday, December 6, 2012

The dreaded question...

There are many articles that talk about the lack of support women in this country have when it comes to the decision to work or not to work. On some level, we self-perpetuate the myth that women should be able to have a career and a family. Companies don't have day care onsite, which they should. Companies don't push to offer more time off for a mom and a new baby, which they should. You have to fight to pump your milk someplace other than the bathroom because companies want to ignore that some of the employees will lactate.

I got the question today or perhaps it was a statement on my current life choice, "SO, does this mean you'll finally quit and stay home with the kids?"

Why is it a question only for woman? I have a Masters in Electrical Engineering and a career in semiconductors spanning twelve years. It is assumed that I will give it all up. Why do we as a country not find a way to better support women and families in the work place instead of assuming that half of our workforce should be at home.

Why wasn't the question, "So, will your husband finally quit and stay home with the kids?"

We don't know how to handle professional women. Period. Let's look at the latest CEO of Yahoo. She started the job six months pregnant. Should this be a major issue? At six months pregnant there was no way she was trying to hide it. However, investors panicked. Pregnancy should be viewed as good thing. It shows that this woman is healthy and young with lots of time to invest in the company. And let's be realistic, as a CEO day care costs will not be an issue. It's a little different for those of us lower down in a company, but somehow her pregnancy upset the business world.

As a professional woman, it is hard and it is even harder to connect with other women and feel like part of a community.

Going back to work with a newborn is hard. There is no ifs ands or buts about it. You don't want to leave your baby with someone else, but your do. Not to mention, if you do not have a good day care situation (another story for another day) it goes from hard to horrible. Maybe my job situation will change, there aren't any job options for me in a small town and my boss could tire of my working remote. Until that happens, I will continue to work.

1 comment:

Kate said...

I know so frustrating, we are slowly getting better maternity levave and structures in place here, but still we are asked the same question.