Women’s Work Advantages and Disadvantages Essay

This argumentative essay about women’s work explains all the disadvantages and advantages of being a woman in the workplace. The positive and negative effects of being a working mother are also presented, so you might draw your own conclusion on the issue.


  • Disadvantages

In today’s world, women take active roles in employment, unlike during the olden days when they stayed at home and took care of their families. Women taking active roles in jobs have advantages and disadvantages. In contemporary society, women and men have equal opportunities for employment.

Working Women Advantages

The advantages of women working include more income for their families, the opportunity to explore their talents, and the promotion of economic growth. When women work, they make money that adds to their families’ financial well-being. This helps pay bills, buy food, and educate children. Women have goals and objectives to achieve in their lives. Working allows them to pursue their dreams and talents, as well as work on their goals by pursuing careers of their choice. Finally, women who work contribute towards economic growth through their jobs.

Women’s Work Disadvantages

Disadvantages for working women include the absence of enough time for their families, pressure from work-related stress, and conflicts of interest. Working women have little time to take care of their families because their jobs are very demanding and time-consuming. Many jobs are very stressful, and many women cannot handle high levels of work-related stress. Their nature predisposes them to anxiety and depression more than when compared to men. Finally, there is a conflict of interests. Their roles as mothers compromise their performance at work. They use working hours to take care of their children at the expense of their jobs.

Today, women seek employment opportunities just like men. This increases income for their families and gives them opportunities to explore their talents by pursuing careers of their choice. However, it affects their families because they do not spend enough time with their children. In addition, their role as mothers has involved my performance at work.

  • Chicago (A-D)
  • Chicago (N-B)

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1. IvyPanda . "Women's Work Advantages and Disadvantages Essay." October 29, 2023. https://ivypanda.com/essays/working-women-advantages-and-disadvantages/.


IvyPanda . "Women's Work Advantages and Disadvantages Essay." October 29, 2023. https://ivypanda.com/essays/working-women-advantages-and-disadvantages/.

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The Upside of Working Motherhood

There are lots of reasons women should feel hopeful about having a career and children.

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Download the discussion guide for this episode

You’ve heard the story: Motherhood and work are at odds, and women who pursue both have to make endless trade-offs and compromises. And yet, lots of women go for it, with great results for themselves, their families, and their careers. In fact, research suggests that parenting can enrich our careers, and vice versa.

Professors Danna Greenberg and Jamie Ladge talk about the benefits of being a working mom. They share advice around setting expectations, finding child care, asking for help, and advocating for ourselves as kids get older. Then, our fellow HBR editor Erica Truxler checks in with a listener about returning to work after parental leave.

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Danna Greenberg is a professor of organizational behavior at Babson College.

Jamie Ladge is a professor of management at Northeastern University.

  • Maternal Optimism: Forging Positive Paths through Work and Motherhood , by Jamie Ladge and Danna Greenberg
  • “ How Working Parents Can Manage the Demands of School-Age Kids ,” by Daisy Wademan Dowling
  • “ How to Launch a Working Parents’ Support Group in Your Organization ,” by Daisy Wademan Dowling
  • “ 4 Conversations Every Overwhelmed Working Parent Should Have ,” by Joseph Grenny and Brittney Maxfield

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Our theme music is Matt Hill’s “City In Motion,” provided by Audio Network.

DANNA GREENBERG: It’s hard to imagine the positive pieces of this story when so much of it is about going to work with clothes that are messed up, your hair undone, worrying about how your boss is going to see you, worrying about how the stay-at-home moms on the playground are going to see you. And that rhetoric makes you feel like you’ve got to focus on just self-preservation and management.

NICOLE TORRES: You’re listening to Women at Work, from Harvard Business Review. I’m Nicole Torres.

AMY BERNSTEIN: I’m Amy Bernstein.

AMY GALLO: And I’m Amy Gallo. This episode, we’re looking at an aspect of working motherhood that in my opinion doesn’t get nearly enough attention: the positive pieces. There are lots of reasons women should feel hopeful about having a career and children.

NICOLE TORRES: We’re talking to two professors who — between their academic research and experience raising three kids each — are experts on working motherhood: Danna Greenberg, of Babson College, and Jamie Ladge, of Northeastern University.

JAMIE LADGE: A lot of the women that have been part of our research over the years are older first-time mothers, so much of their identity is wrapped up in their professional life, and pregnancy and impending motherhood throws a real wrench in that identity.

AMY BERNSTEIN: They’ve organized their insights and advice into a book; it’s called Maternal Optimism.


AMY BERNSTEIN: Jamie, let me start with you. What were you seeing in the coverage of working motherhood that made you want to do this work?

JAMIE LADGE: Well, as you all know, there is no shortage of books about working mothers, and we knew that there were quite a few. And we were a little bit hesitant to get into it. But we were frustrated by a lot of the rhetoric — having it all — and a lot of the negativity surrounding the issues that a lot of working mothers face. And certainly, that exists, all the biases and stigma associated with being a working mother. But we really wanted to first and foremost try to come at this with a very positive spin, not that it’s all positive, but there are experiences that women face throughout the course of their motherhood transitions and working mother transitions that work out well. And we wanted to be able to share those stories through the stories that we had seen and the research that we’ve done over many years.


JAMIE LADGE: The other thing we were sort of tired of was kind of this one-size-fits-all approach. We know that a lot of women share common ground with their experiences around being a working mother, but we also think that no two mothers and working mother stories are alike, and we wanted to make sure that we shared a wide variety of different experiences in the book.

DANNA GREENBERG: Part of that of no two mothers stories being alike is the idea that there is not a start and end to being a working mother. So many of the books out there talk about this idea as if, you’ve returned to work. You made it. You are a working mother. And that’s just the first of so many transitions women experience throughout their careers as working mothers. And we felt like it was really important to help women start to understand: this is, this is a long distance run. It’s not short term. It’s not just about return to work. And there are constant iterations going on. And we thought giving them some perspective on that could be really helpful.

AMY BERNSTEIN: So in your book, you talk about how working motherhood really starts well before you have a baby in your arms. What do you mean by that?

DANNA GREENBERG: So, one of the things that we find is how frequently young women, long before they even have a partner, are starting to ask questions about combining work and motherhood. In ways that I don’t think we did in our generation. And one of the things that we worry a lot about and we see is that women are making choices early on that are about, will this be a career that I can eventually combine work and motherhood? And so I’ll give you a perfect example. My daughter is a chemistry and women’s health major. She’s premed. And she recently had a family member say to her, why don’t you think about becoming a physician’s assistant or a nurse practitioner, because it’s going to be much easier down the road to combine work and family. Now, my daughter is really career driven. She’s thinking about surgery and specialties. She is not, by the way, a nurturing primary caregiver. [LAUGHTER] So, nurse practitioner is not here thing. But women start to do that as young women, even in college and in those early years. And one of the things that we see, and we really advise women, is that this is a really important time to build your career, to figure out what you want to do and to use the time and space you have to build up your power, your credibility, your skill sets, your knowledge so that if and when you have a family, you have the resources to ask for what you need. And as I go back to my daughter’s story, as a physician who perhaps some day is in a specialty, there are lots more ways to create a flexible schedule if that’s what she wants, or to structure or to have the financial resources to have the childcare she needs than would be the case if she were a nurse practitioner. But this is advice many young women are still getting today.

NICOLE TORRES: So Jamie, your research on working motherhood started with this question: Is there ever a good time to have a baby, in terms of your career? And you’ve studied the effects that the timing of childbirth can have on a woman’s career. What have you found?

JAMIE LADGE: So one of the things I wanted to do, because there had been tons of research done, particularly in sociology, that looked at the effects of timing childbirth on women’s wages, and also on promotions. And so we knew that was a problem for women, that it’s much better to wait to have your first child, because during those early years in your 20s, you know, you’re building up your educational attainment. You’re making connections and building up your network, and all the human capital variables are just building up for you. And so that made sense for wages and for promotions. But I actually wanted to find out, well, are women happier? Are they more satisfied with their careers? So I wanted to take a more subjective approach. And so we looked at that, and I mean, sadly I can’t say that there’s a magic age for when the best time is to have a baby. I would have loved to have been the one that discovered what that age was. But I have to be like, you know, typical consultant mode and say, it depends, because it really, it does depend. But one of the things we did find, that the women that had their children earlier in their careers were actually more satisfied later on. This is taking more of a life course approach. And we surmise that that’s because they had more time that had elapsed since when they started their families. So they were able to build their career back up. As opposed to a lot of the women that we’ve interviewed over the years who were much older first-time moms, well into their 30s, some in their 40s, and they had kind of the sense of, well, I paid my dues at work. And now that I’m having my child, I can kind of take a step back, or I can mold my career however I want to mold. So, not a perfect age, but if you want to be happy with your career, it really doesn’t matter, but it does seem that you can get going a little bit earlier.

AMY BERNSTEIN: So, I want to talk about the decision to have more than one child. We know that, you know, there are penalties to having more than one kid. You know, there’s your wages will suffer and so forth. How do women who would like to have more than one kid stay positive? What should they be thinking about?

DANNA GREENBERG: So, one of the things we don’t think about is how the family structure changes when you have multiple children. One of the things that we know from our own research is that when women have their first child, one of the biggest challenges is enabling their partner to be a real partner, particularly if they’re in a situation where they’ve got a maternity leave, and their partner doesn’t. They start taking on a lot of the childcare responsibilities, and they don’t figure out a way to really share parental responsibilities with their partner, and they don’t make them a real partner. When you have a second child, that goes out the window, because all of a sudden, there’s a lot more childcare responsibilities to have, and they have to be shared. So women have to let up. They have to enable their partner to be a real partner to them, to share some aspects of that childcare responsibility, which enables them to be more confident and more engaged at work. Because they know that there is another person who is equally capable at home. So that’s one of the things that happens in the family that can be really beneficial for a working mother. The other thing that we talk about in our house is that having multiples of children, somebody’s always happy, and someone’s always unhappy. [LAUGHTER] We call it the Whack-a-Mole game. Remember that old game you had as a child? And you hit the mole, and they’d pop right up. But one of the things women often do, working mothers, is they add guilt to themselves when something’s not working with their child. Oh, it would be different if I were home full time, if I wasn’t working, if I were focused. When you have multiples, you get that go, because you start to realize, their challenges, they’re experiencing them as individual people. And you see one child having a good day and one child having a bad day, and it really has nothing to do with you. It has to do with them. So, those feelings of guilt that you’re causing this really change.

AMY BERNSTEIN: So, the second and third and fourth and 12th child give you perspective.

DANNA GREENBERG: They give you a lot of perspective. You’ve also accumulated a whole level of knowledge. You get to the third one — for me, I had three sequentially. You get to the third, and there’s a whole knowledge about how to deal with this, how to ask for help. You start to get much more comfortable being transparent about your work life and your family life, because you’ve been doing it for a while. It’s not a question of, am I a working mother? I have to hide it. What are the people going to think of me? This is who I am. So I actually have a colleague, the CFO at Babson. She has five children. She most recently had the fifth child, and the baby came with her to many, many meetings, and we just passed the baby around. This is a woman whose children range from 19 to probably 2. And she is a rock star CFO. There is no question. And you know what? Her childcare broke down, and she needed the baby to be there, and the baby just got passed. But there wasn’t this sense of conflict or guilt, which she certainly would have experienced having a first child. Never bring a first child to a meeting. But a fifth child, forget it. [LAUGHTER] Bring the child, send me around the meeting, all is good.

AMY GALLO: So, what are the positive benefits of being a working mom?

DANNA GREENBERG: It’s funny you ask, because I just did a study looking at women and asking them very much that question. After you’ve returned to work, what do you experience as positive about that? Or, what has enabled you to be more mindful. And there a couple of different things that we’re seeing in the research as we’re starting to look at the data. The first of which is perspective. There is a sense of, you know what, how important is this? Where does it fit into my day? How much do I have to do all of this myself? Or is 80% good enough? And that can be helpful for women to do their job more effectively. One of the things we see changing in managers is a stopping of micromanagement, because they don’t have time to do that. One of the things that women often do is they want everything to be perfect. They want everyone who’s working for them have everything perfect, and when they return to work after having a child, they realize, you know what, that’s not what really needs to get done, and that’s not helpful for my team. The third thing, which is a really interesting one we’re starting to see, is something we’re seeing in relational capacity. Women talk about returning to work and having now be in this caretaker role, all of a sudden I’m better with my employees. I am more thoughtful. I’m more understanding. I don’t always like what they’re saying. I don’t always agree with what they’re saying. But I have a little bit more patience for dealing with people in a way that maybe I didn’t before becoming a parent. So, I suspect that these are things — this study we’re looking specifically at women, but I would suspect these are absolutely very similar things for working men when they become fathers and are engaged caregivers.

AMY GALLO: One of the themes I took away from your book is that working moms need to have realistic expectations. I would say lower their expectations, but I’m trying to be optimistic. What are some examples of how you can set realistic expectations? And maybe you could specifically talk about the crappy dinners example. I loved that example in your book.

DANNA GREENBERG: Crappy dinners example. So, the crappy dinner idea is a great idea that we’ve seen written about where —

JAMIE LADGE: Otherwise known as every night for me. [LAUGHTER]

DANNA GREENBERG: I like to cook. I find it relaxing. This was actually really empowering for me was the idea that you get together with another friend during the week. You bring your families together, and you serve whatever you can find in your house. No one’s allowed to clean up. No one’s allowed to buy anything. It’s not the Martha Stewart, Real Simple of the world. It’s just, let’s get together and share some friendship and help each other out during these difficult periods of time. And women need to let up. They need to let up at home, they need to let up at work so that they can embrace those more joyful moments, which sometimes are just about connecting and sharing stories of our day.

AMY GALLO: Yeah. I met a woman who, our kids were in preschool together. I said, oh, our families should get together for dinner. And she said, we just can’t handle that. But if you’d like to meet us for a grocery store picnic, you can. I was like, what is that? And she said, we go to the grocery store. We go grocery shopping. We let the kids get stuff from the hot food bar, and then we sit in the car and talk. And I was like, wow, I’m totally doing that. And it became like a weekly thing we started doing on our own, too, because it was, you got your errands done. The kids were super happy, because they got to eat crappy food from, you know, the grocery store. And there was no cleanup. You know, it was just, it was so easy.

JAMIE LADGE: I actually think the setting realistic expectations is an interesting proposition because there’s so many idealistic expectations. And I actually just wrote a paper with Laura Little at University of Georgia about this very topic, where the expectations very much become our reality. And we subscribe so much to what we think we should be doing or what other people think we should be doing in terms of being an ideal worker or an ideal parent, that we don’t even have time to figure that out for ourselves, or that influences what that turns into, or what that looks like for us. So, our identity is very much shaped by this whole idealistic expectation. So, I wish we could have realistic expectations, and I think that women need to really figure out what that means for them as opposed to what it is at a more societal level.

AMY GALLO: It strikes me that being a working mom is really just an extreme exercise in prioritization. And you just have to decide what you’re going to prioritize at the moment, because your life is full, as is everyone’s, whether you’re a mom or not, and you just have to decide what you’re going to do and what you’re not going to do. And it’s not about necessarily sacrifice. It’s just about prioritizing.

AMY BERNSTEIN: Also what I’m hearing is what you’re going to care about, what you’re going to let get to you. Because people are really judgy. They always have been. They always will be. [LAUGHTER]

JAMIE LADGE: And some of those people are the people that are closest to you. Right?

DANNA GREENBERG: I also think, Amy, your point about what are your priorities at the moment is a really important one to figure out. Right? Because those priorities are going to shift and change, and that’s part of the story. Right? And so you make those decisions. This is right for me at this moment. And that can be really easing up for a working mother, versus, this is a choice I’m making, and I’m locked into it, versus I’m doing this now. It’s right for me today. In six months, in a year, in five years, it’s probably going to look really different, and that’s good.

AMY GALLO: Right. Well, and I think, when you look at kids, how much they change from infancy to teenage years, or even young adulthood, you have to think about how as a mom you’re going through the same evolution, right, and as many changes. I remember thinking, you know, I want to work part time while my kid is really young. And then I realized, I hated fighting about nap, right, when she was giving up her nap, one of her naps. I was like, no, this is a great time for me to work, and someone who’s a professional to handle this nap transition. And then six months later, it’s different. I had the luxury of making different choices about how to handle my work life and go full time or part time, because I was working for myself. But you know, I think we think there’s going to be a plan for the 18 years, and really, you know, really the plan’s six months at most. Right?

NICOLE TORRES: But how do you deal with, how do you make yourself OK knowing that priorities could shift at a given moment, a given day, when if you’re working in an organization that is not very flexible, and is not going to accommodate your shifting priorities?

DANNA GREENBERG: There are a couple of different ways to think about that. It’s not an easy situation. Right? Organizations don’t make it easy for us and our shifting priorities, and also, as you point out, as your children change. And so thinking about some of that in advance can be really helpful. Preparing for yourself about, OK, my children are going to be going to elementary school or middle school, and what might that look like, or who in my organization can I talk to who’s parenting older children? And what advice can I get from them about how do I manage this next stage? What am I going to do differently? Keeping your professional network up is absolutely critical, because at the end of the day, if you can’t make it work in your current organization, having a strong professional network means that maybe you can find choices outside in different organizations.

NICOLE TORRES: So, both of you write in your book, you talk about the importance of new mothers developing what you call “childcare bench strength.” What is that?

DANNA GREENBERG: So, bench strength is a term that we adopt from athletics. Right? When you think about a really strong athletic team, you’re thinking about not just having that first-string player, but having a really strong second-string player, and even a third-string player, because at some point the first-string player, something’s going to happen. And they’re going to be out of commission, and you have to rely on the second string. When we talk to women about childcare, we find they spend a lot of time thinking about what I call that first-string childcare: what’s the best childcare I can find that works for my child, works for my job, and works for our financial situation? And that’s great. But that childcare’s going to break down. It’s going to break down because your child’s going to get sick. It’s going to break down because you’re going to have an emergency meeting first thing in the morning, and your partner’s going to be traveling. It’s going to break down because the childcare provider is going to be sick. It’s going to break down, in my case, because we had to fire our childcare provider suddenly. Right? It breaks down. And so those are the moment that women often panic. They’re also the moments where women who always thought they were going to work may decide not to work. If you’ve got bench strength, it helps ease the anxiety about that. So figuring out in advance when my childcare situation breaks down, what am I going to do? What’s it going to look like? And we’ve seen women do a lot of very different creative things on this. It can be anything from obviously family members. It could be an elderly, if you don’t have family members in the area, an elderly neighbor that you’re close with. It can be another stay-at-home mom, somebody who’s staying home and can take your child and help you in that particular way. It can be formal backup care programs. But figuring out that in advance, having those phone numbers, being ready to dial so when the childcare situation breaks down, you’re ready to figure out what comes next. Because it’s going to break down. It’s just a part of being a working mom is, you’re going to have days where the childcare isn’t there.

AMY GALLO: One of the stories I really liked in the book was a woman named Martha, who was a single working mom, and befriended another working mom, and they essentially ended up co-parenting. Right? Even though they didn’t coexist in the same household. Can you talk about how common that is?

JAMIE LADGE: I actually don’t think it’s common enough, because I think women are so worried about asking for help. I do it. I don’t do it as much as I probably want to do it, because you do feel like you’re leaning on someone too much. But it’s really challenging. I mean, there’s a lot of people who don’t have families around them. You know? I mean, not everybody has the luxury of having grandparents and whoever around to fill that bench strength. And so I would just, this might be digressing from your question, but just to add to what Danna was saying, it’s not only the woman or the mother building up that bench strength, but also making sure, you know, in terms of people, physical people that are helping you out, but also making sure that it’s OK. Like the example you gave of the professor or the faculty member who brought their child to a meeting. But making sure you’re surrounded, you’re surrounding yourself with people at work that are perfectly fine with you doing kooky things like that, or even, I’m just reflecting back on when I was in my PhD program. I started that program, and I was with three single men. And I just stated right up front, we’re having any group meetings at my house. I mean, fortunately, I lived right near the university, but every group meeting is going to be at my house. And they were perfectly fine with that. They loved that. And my baby was there, and they would play with the baby, and so there’s a different form of bench strength that also goes beyond the childcare aspect as well.

AMY GALLO: I want to be clear that we are strongly advocating for more babies at meetings. [LAUGHTER]

AMY BERNSTEIN: All for it.

AMY BERNSTEIN: So, the challenge of finding supportive childcare doesn’t stop when the kids go off to school. So, talk to us a little bit about the stress of, you know, the after school pick up, on women’s careers, and how people deal with it. What are some creative strategies?

DANNA GREENBERG: So, when we’re talking about after school stress, one of the things, there’s been a lot of research actually done on this topic, we know that when working parents feel a lot of stress about, is their child well taken care of after school, or in this out of school time, it affects their engagement at work, it affects their work stress. It actually affects the quality of work they’re doing, as well as their overall psychological and emotional well-being. So, the impact of after school stress isn’t just on us at home. It’s on us in our workplaces as well. So, one of the things that really happens for working mothers in that first transition is when you’re child leaves whatever traditional childcare arrangement you’ve figured out for yourself, they transition to elementary school, typically a kindergarten in the United States. And all of a sudden, you’re shocked. It’s a shock to a family system because kindergarten, or any elementary school situation is usually about six to seven hours. It runs 10 months of the year. And about 30 of those days are not covered. Right? So you’ve got huge gaps in the care situation you have, and while we’ve done some work to improve quality childcare in the early years, we’ve done very little to improve quality childcare in those later years. So again, thinking about that in advance can be really helpful for working families. One of the things that we talk to families about a lot is this idea of, how do you think about the community you’re going into, and to what extent is this going to be a community that has systems in place that are going to help you as a working mother? So people make decisions about doing into a community based hunt, typically. What kind of house, how big a house I can afford? What’s the quality of the school system? But they don’t think at all about, is there before-school care in the system? Is there after-school care? Is there an after school care program that my kid’s going to have to get bussed to? How does bussing work in the system? Will they pick my child up at the end of my road? Or will they pick them up at the end of my driveway? That creates a really different context. Are there other working parents? You can use that from census data and available data. Does the recreation system, is it set up in a way that there’s summer camps, and there are vacation camps? And are those things that are actually used by parents in the community? Doing some research on that can help you figure out, how do I get into a community that’s going to be able to be a place where I can be authentic about who I am and have the support I need and be more comfortable asking for those supports, versus feeling like I’ve got to hide a little bit, either side of my life.

JAMIE LADGE: And emotionally, as well, I think finding communities where there are other working parents, working mothers, around, because I’ve used after-school programs, and even, well, in a community where there’s probably predominantly fewer working mothers, but you feel guilty about being the last one to pick up your kid in an after school program that goes until six. You feel guilty about dropping your kid off at seven in the morning when you don’t see any other parents or kids around. There’s this emotional struggle having to feel like you have to downplay your work, or you have to sacrifice your work to be there. And so the stress is not just the financial stress, but there’s also the psychological stress associated with feeling the guilt about, you know, utilizing these programs that are the very programs that are supposed to alleviate the stress to begin with. So I think the community thing is an interesting one, not just in terms of what resources are available, but also what people, you know, you surround yourself with in those resources.

DANNA GREENBERG: And I also tell people to really try to find partners in your organization, other working families that you can switch off or trade off with. So I really advise our junior faculty about this. They struggle with those vacation weeks, because we’re teaching. We’re in the classroom. And so, find another faculty member who’s got kids, maybe around your same age, maybe not, and maybe you can trade off one day for one day, that kind of a model. Or you can trade off pickups. And so that community support can be at your home community, but it can also be in your work community too.

AMY GALLO: Our neighbors, we have a text chain that, whenever school vacation’s coming up, or snow days, it’s like, who’s going to be home? Where can the kids go? It’s OK if they watch TV all day, but will anyone be home? And it’s great, because it’s, you know, I can still go to work if I need to.

DANNA GREENBERG: Right, and it sounds like you live in a neighborhood where you have a lot of dual-career working parents. Right? So being in a neighborhood where you know sending that text out, or also knowing on the other hand that you’re sending the text out, and there might be a stay-at-home mom who’s happy to help and pitch in, because there are going to be other ways you’re going to be able to support her, too. So part of the network and community is also building relationships between those who are currently working and those who aren’t.

AMY GALLO: There’s a stay-at-home mom at my daughter’s school who is like the uber stay-at-home mom. And I know if I send her a text and say, I can’t get to pickup, can you pick up my daughter, she will text back within 30 seconds. She’ll list the snacks she has packed. Are there any food allergies? I mean, it’s insane, and so comforting, because you know she has your back. And there’s no judgment about it at all. She’s great. She’s amazing.

DANNA GREENBERG: I want to move to your neighborhood. [LAUGHTER]

AMY GALLO: So Jamie, your twins are 12. My daughter is also 12. So, I’m particularly interested in what you have to say about how work changes for women when they’re mothering pre-teens or teens. I understand from your research that workplaces sort of forget that women have caregiving responsibilities at this age. How do women advocate to still get the support they need when they’re mothering older children?

JAMIE LADGE: I think that’s a great question. And one I think about all the time. I hate saying this. But I know it’s true. You know, little children, little problems, big children, huge problems. And I think people forget that. But I think one thing is figure out what your best approach is for how you deal with your work and family challenges. There’s research that shows that people often either make a choice between whether they segment their work and family or integrate their work and family. I think as I know I’ve gotten older, and accumulated more work and family knowledge, I’ve become more of an integrator, and I’m not afraid to show people that I —

AMY BERNSTEIN: So what does integrating look like?

JAMIE LADGE: So in other words, when I was starting out having kids, I didn’t have pictures of them on my desk. I didn’t talk about them at work. And I feel like I am confident enough in my ability as I’ve gotten older through the years, and as my children have gotten older, I’m less worried about any stigma that I may face as a working parent, because I’ve already proven myself, or at least I feel as though I’ve proven myself to others. A segmenter would not have pictures on there, and an integrator would bring their child into work and not have any qualms about it. And I try to signal that preference to people. And hopefully I’m a model to others that will do the same, because I think that there’s a real positive aspect of being able to show and highlight to people that work and family are important.

NICOLE TORRES: Is it harder to talk about parenting challenges older children than younger children?

DANNA GREENBERG: Absolutely. The conversation about I’m leaving early because they’re little or sick, there’s an assumption that older children are very self-sufficient in our society, good or bad. Even in high school, they’re not yet really self-sufficient. And so there can be needs to be present there that just aren’t articulated. And they’re not comfortable being incredibly transparent about what are those needs. The other thing that checks is, how interested are you in filling those needs? I don’t love big children. [LAUGHTER] Again, maybe my children listening to this, I’m not as good in the teenage years. It’s not my strength. Right? I’m lucky. I have a partner who’s really good in the teenage years. And so one of the things that we’ve actually flopped a little bit. I’m much more active and engaged at work, and he is much more the call, the go-to when they have those particular problems. And in a certain way, I think it’s easy for him to respond, because he didn’t respond when they were little. Right? So it’s new, and it’s different for him. So, it is really hard in organizations to say and advocate. I think it’s also hard for women if they worked full time their whole careers, and all of a sudden they’re saying, you know what, my kids are teenagers, they’re in high school, and I want to be a little more present. How do I advocate for myself now when I never advocated for that before?

JAMIE LADGE: But I do think it’s easier to advocate when they children are older, because there’s less fear that there’s going to be some kind of bias involved. I think one of the real challenges in what we’ve seen in our research for pregnant women or new mothers is that if I ask for something, if I advocate for something, that’s going to set the tone for my whole now life as a working mother in this profession, or whatever. And like I said before, if you have the confidence in yourself, and you know you’ve proved your value, then advocating things when your children are a little bit older I think becomes slightly easier to a large extent. But I think the challenge, what Danna’s pointing out, is the challenge of having older children doesn’t necessarily get easier.

AMY BERNSTEIN: So Danna, your kids are, you know, as you’ve said, a little older than Jamie’s. One’s in college. Two others are 16 and 18. You’re entering a new family stage. What transitions are happening to you professionally? What feels positive to you about this period?

DANNA GREENBERG: So, all of a sudden for me, there’s this energy to engage in my research and my writing and leadership in the college in a way that I just didn’t have before. And so it’s a really exciting phase. There’s also a lot of positive feedback, that starts to come from your young adult children that you don’t get from a toddler or an elementary schooler. Right? When you’re dealing with little children, there often can be more angst and tension and things that they say that make you realize and think, oh my gosh, they’re upset I work, or why do you work, Mommy, or those kinds of questions that cause you angst. When they’re older, they’re excited about your working. And Kathleen McGinn’s done some great research on this, looking at how working mothers impact both their daughters’ and their sons’ careers. And see it in my household all the time. My daughter’s studying chemistry and women’s health, and she’s done research and done research projects, and she calls me for help. My sophomore came home one day from his honors English class with 20-some odd kids in it, six boys, and the six boys got on a conversation that all six of them noticed they had working mothers in a community where there are not a lot of working mothers. And so they start to see ways in which your life has impacted them positively. And that has really exciting repercussions for a working mom.

AMY GALLO: I can imagine that being really rewarding.

AMY BERNSTEIN: So, you know, as your kids are getting older, and more independent, and they’re going off to college, you get, you know, there’s a lot more coming your way. You’ve got more bandwidth. You have more opportunities. You have more experience. How do you figure out what to do with your time? How do you sort of sort through all of the options?

DANNA GREENBERG: I think it comes back to the same thing you do at early stages, which is, you have to hear your own voice. The options that come your way are exciting. They’re flattering in a lot of ways. And it’s very easy to jump in and say, yes. Yes, I’ll do that. Yes, I’ll do that. And we hear a lot from women at this stage that all of a sudden, instead of being overwhelmed with home responsibilities, they’re overwhelmed with work responsibilities. They’re overwhelmed by board responsibilities. They’re overwhelmed by community engagement responsibilities. So, taking some moments to think about, again, I don’t have to do everything at the same time. What’s my priority? Where do I want to engage? What’s going to be rewarding and fulfilling in this moment? And where am I going to say no? Because just like in your early careers, you’ve got to say no to some things. And so making those decisions based upon what I want, not what everybody else is expecting or asking of me, is really important to do.

AMY BERNSTEIN: And so, we hope by this point in your life, with all of these other balls you’ve had in the air, you’ve figured out which ones you really want to catch, right? Is that the idea?

DANNA GREENBERG: Or, which ones you want to catch now. Something — a ball that wasn’t important to you five or 10 years ago may all of a sudden be really important to you, and you’re going to really want to run with that.


AMY GALLO: I loved the line in the book about having a proud, engaged mother be more important than a big backyard. Why do you think women lose sight of the positive sight of the positive impact their working has on their children?

DANNA GREENBERG: I think they lose sight for a couple of reasons, the first of which is the rhetoric we talked about, that we’re all told. I think the other reason you lose sight of the positive is that it is hard. The day-to-day responsibilities of loving your job, wanting to be successful in your career, in your work, wanting to be there and be present for your family and be an active and engaged parent and partner, if you have a partner — it’s not easy day to day. And I think like anything else, we lose sight of the big picture; we lose sight of the joy in those really small moments that happen, and we lament what we didn’t do. And so giving up a little of that rhetoric, giving yourself space, and looking for the joy in the day. What is that joyful moment? It might be just the cereal bowl and what happened over that conversation. Or it might be one thing that you do during the day that has an impact on a colleague or a client. But focusing on the joy changes the story you’re telling yourself. And that’s what we need to help women do, change the story we’re telling ourselves.

JAMIE LADGE: And we need more positive stories. We need women to feel good about — we need ourselves to feel good about — the choices we make, as opposed to, like Danna said, lamenting over decisions. We shouldn’t look back. We shouldn’t always feel we have to look back and say, I wish I had done that. We need to own and feel confident about the choices we make. And if they don’t work out the way we intended them to, OK, they didn’t work out, but at least we know that we can move forward from that, and maybe the next choice will work out. And just because so-and-so down the street did this or my colleague in the office did that, that doesn’t mean it’s going to work for me. It’s good that I have that model. It’s good that I have that guide to follow, but I’m going to chart my own path.

NICOLE TORRES: Jamie, Danna, thank you both so much for joining us and talking to us today.

JAMIE LADGE: Thank you for having us.


NICOLE TORRES: So do you, Amy G, feel more optimistic about this? I mean, you’re kind of entering this new phase of working motherhood. Harper is 12. You know, she’s an older child. [LAUGHTER] How are you feeling after the conversation?

AMY GALLO: I do feel more optimistic. Reading the book, I felt there was a lot that resonated with me that I thought, oh, I hadn’t quite those about it that way. Because I think there is this sense that it’s motherhood and working are at odds, and that it’s more about compromise on both sides so you can make it work. And I like that they sort of talked about them actually feed one another in a positive way. And I’ve definitely seen that in my own life. And the transition I made from Harper being sort of a young child to being this tween, that was a very optimistic transition for me, because she was more independent, and she was observing me working in a way that she hadn’t before, because she was completely self-centered, as kids are.

AMY BERNSTEIN: So, I’m curious, though — you just said that being a mother and working, that the two sides of you fed each other. How — what was that? How did they feel each other?

AMY GALLO: Yeah. Well, I think the way that Danna and Jamie talked about it was that, and this is what felt true to me, is that I’m better, I’m more efficient with my time, because I have greater demands on my time than I ever have before. I use work, particularly research we find, or tactics I use, time management, I use those at home. So, I think I’m better organized at home because of it. And I think because of having a kid, I’m much more empathetic with other people. You know, having a kid, trust me, you get frustrated and mad, but you realize it’s not their fault. And I think I treat people like that at work more often. I see them all as like the child whose needs aren’t being met, rather than the adult who’s being a jerk to me in this meeting. I’m sort of more emotionally grounded than I was before I had Harper.

NICOLE TORRES: Like Danna says, working motherhood isn’t just return-to-work; it’s a long-distance run. But returning to work is the start.

HANNAH: I’d decided to take four months off. This is my third child, but it’s my first time going back to work full time because my other two children, I was self-employed, and I worked from home part time.

NICOLE TORRES: That’s Hannah, a listener who’s been in touch with us over email. Hannah first wrote us after hearing our episode “Managing Parental Leave (Yours or Someone Else’s).” She was on leave at the time, after having her daughter Greta.

HANNAH: As the three-month mark was approaching, I was feeling so unprepared, and I wasn’t ready to leave Greta, and I just had so much guilt about being away from her for so many hours during the day.

NICOLE TORRES: Hannah said the stories our colleague Erica Truxler shared in that episode helped her feel like she could manage the challenges of returning to the office full time after leave. A few months later, Hannah offered to tell us how it’s been going for her. And we thought it would be great to get Hannah and Erica on the phone together. And it really was.

ERICA TRUXLER: Well, Hannah, I just wanted to start by saying thank you so much for emailing us after our episode from last season. You know, it was very vulnerable putting myself out there and how difficult I had a time getting back into work, and hearing that you found comfort in my story really, honestly, helped me, too. So, we were helping each other [LAUGHTER] from across the country.


ERICA TRUXLER: So, I just wanted to know how, how things are going and — I don’t know if you could go maybe just into a little bit more detail about maybe even just your first month back at work and how that went and, really, yes, just an update on how things are going on your end.

HANNAH: Yeah. Yeah. So, I had a positive outlook, but I think — I mean, I tend to be a little bit type A, so I think I took it, like, to the extreme a little bit. And I was just — I went back to work with this attitude of, like, I’m going to do it all. I’m going to fit it all, everything I want to do in one day into a day. And I’m going to do all this self-care. I had this — you know, I had this crazy schedule of, like, I’m going to wake up at 5 a.m. every morning and meditate and work out and do all these things before the kids wake up. And I was kind of doing it on some weeks, but I had such a frantic energy, going from one thing to the next. And even though I was trying to practice all this self-care, it was not really self-care because —


HANNAH: It was like a stressful thing to complete it. So then it was like this crazy rollercoaster. Within two weeks of getting back to work, our whole family got hit with the stomach flu. Oh, then I got strep throat.

ERICA TRUXLER: Oh, my goodness, yes, I had exactly the same experience. [LAUGHTER] I was going to mention, this was my first winter, daycare, germ-filled winter, with my 1-year-old now, Claire. And truly it was almost, like, back to back. We also had — I think it was two or three stomach flus, the flu, also pink eye, hand, foot, and mouth, double ear infection at the same time as hand, foot, and mouth. So, anyways, all of this is to say, I hear you, and I feel that it’s one of those things where, you know, you kind of go in and you’re like, I can do this. I set myself up for success. I even carve in some me time before babies wake up. And then the reality hits.

HANNAH: Yeah, and it’s hard to figure out, like, what is, like, the best perspective to have. And I know that you gave me the advice to just be gentle with yourself. And I feel like that’s a really good thing to focus on, but sometimes, like, I know for me, I had to go through that curve of having all these expectations and having them backfire and being like, oh, OK, this is what it means to be gentle with myself, you know?

ERICA TRUXLER: Yes, yes. And Amy is — Amy Gallo is careful to say it’s not lowering our expectations; it’s setting expectations for the moment that we’re in in our lives.

HANNAH: Yeah. I work with a coach through my work that was actually a leadership coach to start, but she morphed into my maternity leave coach [LAUGHTER].


HANNAH: So, and we were working on all these things, like, OK, don’t expect to do everything in one day. Let’s stretch out the time. Maybe it’s you’re trying to complete those things in one week or two weeks. The other thing I did, which was crazy, but I stopped drinking coffee. And I feel like that really helped my frantic energy. And even though I was sleep-deprived and tired, I think it was better to be in that state than it was to have that kind of buzz going on all the time.

ERICA TRUXLER: Anxious energy, yeah.

HANNAH: Yeah. So, like I said, I’ve always been kind of a go-getter, exerciser every day — that type of thing. And I just was like, you know what, I’m not even going to exercise. I’m not going to do anything. I’m just going to go to work and be with my family. And I feel like taking it way down I finally accepted it, and I feel like that was a huge —


HANNAH: Yeah, it made such a difference.

ERICA TRUXLER: Yeah, and I do feel that there is positivity that we often miss in the rush and the bustle of going back and forth and rushing to daycare and doing deadlines and work.


ERICA TRUXLER: And I was just wondering if there are any moments that you can think over the past few months where you really did feel happy at work, and you came home and you felt happy at home, and you realized, wait a second, I wouldn’t have this feeling if I weren’t doing both?

HANNAH: Yeah. Well, for one, I mean, compared to my first two children, I think — and this is of course something that’s so different and is such a personal thing for everybody, but I really like working outside of the home. It’s really nice having that — I mean, it is like a little bit of a break. You know, when you’re a parent and you’re working so hard, and it’s such a demanding role, sometimes it’s nice to step out of that. And I think if you’re not working outside of the home, it’s a little harder to orchestrate that as frequently or have it be as effective as working outside of the home. So, I think that that was something that was really a positive thing this go-around. And the other thing about that, I was so worried about all the hours I was going to be away from Greta, and in the end, that was probably one of the least challenging things for me.

HANNAH: I mean, of course I missed her at work, but I don’t feel like I have a deficit of time with her.

ERICA TRUXLER: Yes, you know what’s funny is, I’ve noticed, on Sundays, when I’m with Claire all day, and I’m there starting at 5:30 in the morning, by, like, 9:45, I’m, I’m starting to get very tired, and I start to check my phone. And I start to go on Instagram or something while she’s sitting next to me.

HANNAH: Right.

ERICA TRUXLER: And I’ve had this realization that when I pick her up from daycare, it’s such a happy moment for me. Like, literally, yesterday, I was in her — they have a little playground — and I was talking to one of her teachers, and I didn’t see her right away. And then all of a sudden, I hear, mama, mama, and she’s running towards me, and it was just, like, the happiest moment, honestly.

ERICA TRUXLER: And then we come home, and we have about two hours, so it’s not much, but those two hours I make a point to not have my phone in front of me, and we are playing, and I value that time so much. And when I’ve had a good day at work, I often think, I’ve been able to accomplish, you know, edit that article, and I came home and had a great evening with Claire, and I feel very positive about it. And often those positive moments do get overrun by, you know, the illnesses. And so I’ve been trying to kind of note the positive moments more when I can as well.

HANNAH: Yeah, yeah. And I think that’s something that for me, when I slowed everything down, it really helped me to have more of that kind of attitude and really recognize what I was accomplishing.

ERICA TRUXLER: Right! Thank you so much, Hannah. This has been such a great conversation.

HANNAH: Thank you.

AMY GALLO: That’s our show. I’m Amy Gallo.

NICOLE TORRES: And I’m Nicole Torres. Our producer is Amanda Kersey. Our audio product manager is Adam Buchholz. Maureen Hoch is our supervising editor. We get technical help from Rob Eckhardt. Erica Truxler makes the show’s discussion guides. And JM Olejarz is our copyeditor.

AMY GALLO: And one more note: we’ve heard from a lot of our listeners about the discussion guides. I was actually at an event in California a couple weeks ago, and someone stopped me at the sink in a bathroom to tell me that she uses the discussion guides with her women’s group at her organization.

AMY BERNSTEIN: That is fantastic. We also got this email saying, and I’m going to quote here: “The guides are having an impact on how we talk, act, and lean on each other in the office.”

AMY GALLO: If you want access to the guides, you can find them on our website, at HBR.org/podcasts, on the Women at Work page.

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This article is about gender, partner center.

Denise Cummins Ph.D.

The Truth About Children of Working Mothers

Media reports have not told the whole story. this is what you need to know..

Posted May 19, 2015 | Reviewed by Ekua Hagan

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Nearly three-quarters of mothers work outside the home. Yet a 2007 Pew Research Cente r poll reported that 41 percent of adults say the increase in working mothers is bad for society, and only one in five mothers of preschool-aged children prefer full-time work.

New York Times writer Claire Cain Miller hopes that a recent study will finally put to rest the mommy wars over what is best for young children: stay-at-home parenting or daycare.

The study in question is the Working Mother Study report, authored by Harvard Business School researchers Kathleen McGinn and Mayra Ruiz Castro and Elizabeth Long Lingo of Mt. Holyoke College. The study examined 50,000 families in 25 countries. The result highlighted in the Times was this:

Daughters of working mothers completed more years of education and were more likely to be employed and in supervisory roles and earned higher incomes. The careers of sons were unaffected.

One difficulty with disseminating this conclusion is that the study is not yet published, meaning that it has not yet passed the rigorous peer review that is required for publication in a scientific journal. Instead, the results were simply reported in a Harvard news release.

Miller is on firmer ground when she cites a published 2010 meta-analysis of 69 studies over 50 years. She points out that the meta-analysis found that, in general, children whose mothers worked when they were young had no major learning, behavior or social problems, and tended to be high achievers in school and have less depression and anxiety .

Yet the results of this meta-analysis are actually more nuanced than that:

The results actually show that early daycare is associated with better outcomes only for kids growing up in single-parent, low-income families.

In the researchers' own words,

...moderator analyses indicated that early maternal employment was associated with beneficial child outcomes when families were at risk socioeconomically, particularly in the context of families with single parents and on welfare; these findings support the compensatory hypothesis of employment for these families (e.g., NICHD Early Child Care Research Network, 2003).

This makes perfect sense. Mom is completely stressed out because she is working full time and caring for her kids single-handedly while earning a meager paycheck. Early daycare isn't a choice; it is a necessity. But when there are two parents participating in childrearing and their income level is reasonably high, the children of working mothers were at a disadvantage. The researchers write,

In contrast, other analyses indicated that employment was associated with negative child outcomes when families were not at risk financially (i.e., when families were middle or upper-middle class); these findings support the lost-resources hypothesis for these types of families (e.g., NICHD Early Child Care Research Network, 2003).

The timing of maternal employment also mattered. Infant daycare during the first year of life proved to be detrimental:

Timing of employment was also an important moderator, such that Year 1 employment was negatively associated with children’s achievement, whereas later employment (Years 2 and 3) was positively associated with achievement.

The results highlighted in the Times article would seem to suggest that there is no need for parental leave programs because children are actually helped rather than harmed by early introduction to daycare. Yet a more careful reading of the results suggests a very different conclusion, namely, that daycare is beneficial during the first year of life only for low-income single mothers who are overwhelmed from trying to do it all themselves. As John Oliver so eloquently and humorously puts it in this video clip ,

You can’t have it both ways. You can’t go on and on about how much you love mothers and then fail to support legislation that makes life easier for them.

Another factor that looms large in research on childcare is the wide variability in outcome based on the type of care and instruction provided by the daycare center. There is an abundance of research attesting to the importance of letting kids play during early childhood rather than immersing them in controlled instruction.

working mothers disadvantages essay

Fellow blogger Peter Gray summarizes some of this literature in a recent blog post . The most telling results come from a longitudinal study of 68 high-poverty children living in Ypsilanti, Michigan who were assigned to one of three types of nursery schools: Traditional (play-based), High/Scope (which was like the traditional but involved more adult guidance), and Direct Instruction (where the focus was on teaching reading, writing, and math, using worksheets and tests).

Those in the direct-instruction group showed early academic gains. But these gains soon vanished. In Gray's words,

By age 15 those in the Direct Instruction group had committed, on average, more than twice as many “acts of misconduct” than had those in the other two groups. At age 23... the Direct Instruction group had more instances of friction with other people, were more likely to have shown evidence of emotional impairment, were less likely to be married and living with their spouse, and were far more likely to have committed a crime than were those in the other two groups. In fact, by age 23, 39 percent of those in the Direct Instruction group had felony arrest records compared to an average of 13.5 percent in the other two groups; and 19% of the Direct Instruction group had been cited for assault with a dangerous weapon compared with 0% in the other two groups.

Perhaps the wealth of research conducted so far on childcare can be best summarized this way: Young children need to play and explore in an environment where they feel safe and loved. For infants, this ideally means caregivers to whom they feel they belong.

Copyright Dr. Denise Cummins May 19, 2015

Dr. Cummins is a research psychologist, a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science , and the author of Good Thinking: Seven Powerful Ideas That Influence the Way We Think.

Denise Cummins Ph.D.

Denise Dellarosa Cummins, Ph.D. , is the author of Good Thinking, The Historical Foundations of Cognitive Science , and Evolution of Mind.

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Essay on Working Mothers

Students are often asked to write an essay on Working Mothers in their schools and colleges. And if you’re also looking for the same, we have created 100-word, 250-word, and 500-word essays on the topic.

Let’s take a look…

100 Words Essay on Working Mothers

The importance of working mothers.

Working mothers play a pivotal role in our society. They not only contribute to the family’s income but also serve as role models for their children. They teach important values like hard work, independence, and resilience.

Challenges Faced by Working Mothers

Balancing work and family life can be challenging for working mothers. They often juggle multiple responsibilities like professional tasks, child care, and household chores. Despite these challenges, they strive to excel in both domains.

The Impact on Children

Children of working mothers learn to be independent and responsible from an early age. They get inspired to pursue their dreams and ambitions, seeing their mothers’ dedication and commitment.

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250 Words Essay on Working Mothers


The concept of ‘working mothers’ has evolved significantly over the years, shifting from a socio-economic necessity to an emblem of women’s empowerment. This phenomenon has not only transformed the structure of the family but also influenced societal norms and perceptions.

The Evolution of Working Mothers

Historically, mothers were confined to the domestic sphere, responsible for nurturing the family. The feminist movement, however, challenged this traditional view, advocating for women’s rights to work and contribute economically. The rise of working mothers since then represents a significant shift in societal structures.

Impact on Family Dynamics

Working mothers have redefined family dynamics. They have proven that it is possible to raise children while pursuing a career, thereby debunking the myth of the ‘ideal’ mother being confined to the home. This shift has also led to a more equitable distribution of household chores, promoting gender equality.

Economic Implications

Working mothers contribute significantly to the economy. They not only support their families financially but also add to the national income. This economic independence further empowers them, allowing them to make decisions about their lives and families.

Challenges and Solutions

Despite the progress, working mothers face numerous challenges, including societal judgment, work-life balance issues, and lack of support. Addressing these issues requires societal change, flexible work policies, and robust support systems.

In conclusion, working mothers are a testament to the evolving roles of women in society. They symbolize resilience, strength, and the ability to balance multiple roles, thereby challenging traditional norms and contributing to societal progress.

500 Words Essay on Working Mothers

Working mothers are an integral part of society, demonstrating the epitome of multitasking by juggling personal and professional responsibilities. They are the pillars of their households and workplaces, contributing significantly to the economy while shaping the future generation.

Historically, societal norms and expectations confined women to domestic roles. However, the rise of feminism and women’s rights movements in the 20th century led to a paradigm shift, encouraging women to step out of their homes and pursue careers. Today, working mothers are prevalent across various sectors, from science and technology to arts and humanities.

The Balancing Act

The life of a working mother is a delicate balance between work and home. They often face the “double burden” of managing household chores and professional tasks, leading to a phenomenon known as “time poverty.” Despite these challenges, many working mothers successfully navigate this complex terrain through effective time management, family support, and flexible work arrangements.

Impact on Children and Society

The impact of working mothers on children and society is multifaceted. Children of working mothers often grow up to be independent, resilient, and empathetic, having witnessed their mothers’ hard work and dedication. Moreover, working mothers contribute to the economy, help reduce gender wage gaps, and challenge traditional gender roles, fostering a more equitable society.

The Role of Employers and Policy Makers

Employers and policy makers play a crucial role in facilitating the journey of working mothers. Workplaces need to offer flexible hours, remote work options, and family-friendly policies. On the policy front, governments should ensure equal pay, provide affordable childcare, and enforce maternity and paternity leave laws.

Working mothers are the backbone of a progressive society. They not only contribute to their family’s well-being and the economy, but also inspire the next generation to challenge societal norms and strive for equality. The journey of a working mother is challenging yet rewarding, filled with hurdles and triumphs. By acknowledging their efforts and providing them with the necessary support, we can create a society where both men and women can thrive in their personal and professional lives.

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working mothers disadvantages essay

working mothers disadvantages essay

The Impact of Working Mothers on Child Development

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In recent years, full time employment of mothers has become the norm in the United States. Recent statistics indicate that 75% of mothers work full time in the first year of their child’s life. 1  Since most jobs in the United States only offer maternity leave for the first four to six weeks of a child’s life, the reality is that mothers are generally back to work when their child is still an infant.

By definition, the realities of kollel  life (where a husband engages in full-time study of Talmud) typically include a mother needing to return to full or part-time work while their children are still young and the financial demands of an Orthodox Jewish lifestyle often make it necessary for both parents to work in non- kollel families.

Research on the Long-term Impact of Maternal Employment

The research on the long-term impact of maternal employment seems to tell a consistent story.

baby toddler child stairs

In 1991, the National Institute of Child Health and Development initiated a comprehensive longitudinal study in ten centers across the United States to address questions about the relationships between maternal employment, child-care experiences and various outcomes in children. The leaders of this study were among the most respected researchers in the field of developmental psychology, making the conclusions of this research particularly worthy of attention. In a recent review of their findings, they drew the following conclusions: 2

In terms of the behavioral adjustment of children of middle class or upper middle class mothers who worked when they were infants:

  • Full-time maternal employment begun before the child was three months old was associated with significantly more behavior problems reported by caregivers at age 4½ years and by teachers at first grade;
  • Children whose mothers worked part-time before their child was one year old had fewer disruptive behavioral problems than the children of mothers who worked full-time before their child’s first birthday. This increased risk for behavioral difficulties was apparent at age three, and during first grade;
  • The pathway through which those protective effects of part-time work operated was through increases in the quality of the home environment and in the mother’s sensitivity.

With regard to cognitive difference in the middle and upper middle class sample, the study found that:

  • Children of mothers who worked full-time in the first year of that child’s life received modestly lower child cognitive scores relative to children of mothers who do not work on all eight cognitive outcomes examined. Associations at 4½ years and first grade were roughly similar in size to those at age three;
  • Mothers who worked full-time were more likely to have symptoms of depression;
  • Lower cognitive scores were not found in children of mothers who worked part-time during the first year of their child’s life.

While these findings point to the need to consider the impact of full-time maternal employment on children, particularly before they are three months old, some benefits of full-time work were found in the area of the mother’s ability to be sensitive to her child.

Mothers who worked full-time tended to use higher-quality substitute childcare and to show higher levels of sensitivity to her child. The researchers speculate that the higher levels of maternal sensitivity seen in employed mothers might have stemmed from their having greater financial security.

A recent meta-analysis of 69 research studies spanning five decades, 3  evaluating the impact of maternal employment, came to similar conclusions as those summarized above. Early maternal employment was found to be associated with beneficial child outcomes when families were at risk because of either financial challenges or as the result of being single-parent families. In those families, children of working mothers showed higher levels of achievement and lower levels of internalizing behaviors such as anxiety and depression.

These benefits are generally explained by a compensatory hypothesis that views work in those families as providing added financial security, lower levels of family stress and enhanced learning opportunities for children who would otherwise be home with a parent who is dealing with the ongoing stress of poverty and child-rearing challenges with little external support.

Employment was associated with negative child outcomes, however, when children were from intact, middle class families that were not at risk financially. In those families, early full-time employment (relative to mothers who were not working outside the home) was associated with later risk for child behavioral difficulties.

It should be noted, however, that this increased risk was not the case when mothers worked full-time when their children were toddlers or preschoolers. It appears that working full-time when the child is an infant – a critical period in terms of attachment and emotional and cognitive growth – is more likely to be associated with subsequent difficulties.

In summary, the consensus of the empirical studies on the impact of maternal employment finds that child adjustment is tied to a number of relevant variables. In the case of single-parent families, or families otherwise facing poverty, the impact of maternal employment appears to be mostly positive. In the case of middle class or wealthy families when the mother is working full-time, particularly in the early months of a child’s life, there appears to be a mildly increased risk for later behavioral problems and subtle cognitive impact relative to mothers who aren’t working or are working part-time.

It is very important to note, however, that these conclusions cannot necessarily be generalized to our community. There are numerous variables that may differ. For example, in the case of kollel families, where husbands learn full-time, the possibility of a more flexible schedule may result in fathers having the potential of greater involvement in their child’s life than in the case of a father who is employed full time in a traditional job. Similarly, grandparents might be more actively involved in caring for their grandchildren – a factor that is generally associated with improved childcare and improved outcomes. 4

Awareness About Full-Time Versus Part-Time

Although based on relatively small levels of statistical significance, the findings of a number of well-executed studies suggest that when parents have a choice early in their child’s life (particularly during the first three months), they should consider working part-time.

During that critical period, when there is an option, the father should make an effort to be present in as active a parenting role as possible. Similarly, if at all feasible, grandparents should be more actively recruited to take care of their grandchildren when they are infants and both parents are working full-time. This has an added benefit since research has found that actively-involved grandparents serve a crucial role as a protective buffer against the potential harmful influences of parental stress. 5

It is important to note that the potential dangers of full-time versus part-time work are only found in middle and upper middle class families. This recommendation is therefore most relevant for the segment of our community that falls in that category.

The finding that full-time mothers are at times at greater risk for depression should not be taken lightly. Researchers have found that infants are clearly impacted by their mother’s depression. Infants of parents with depression have been found to have difficulties with self-quieting, lower activity levels and decreased ability to attend. Relative to the children of nondepressed parents, their affect tends to be more negative, as typified by increased likelihood of expressing sadness and anger.

Equally important are the studies on the role of chronic stress in parenting. 6  Powerless parents are more likely to:

  • be hyper-vigilant with their child;
  • focus on the negative, while ignoring improved behavior;
  • engage in coercive and punitive parenting;
  • misread neutral child cues as malevolent, and
  • derogate child in efforts at power repair.

This style of parenting frequently engenders high levels of resistance and at-risk behavior in the adolescent.

The implications of this body of research are that high stress levels, and particularly depression in stressed-out parents, can have long term implications on child development. The community needs to take this into account when prioritizing the need to provide young parents with support.

Quality of Substitute Childcare

Perhaps the most important lesson of the research is the importance of high-quality childcare for children. The key elements of what matters in substitute care are clearly demonstrated here .

Unfortunately, parents in our community are given very little in the way of evidence-based information on how to evaluate a quality program. The guidelines summarized in The Importance of Choosing the Correct Childcare  should prove helpful in providing parents with a cognitive map of what to look for.

Data from a recent survey of parents of adolescents in the Orthodox Jewish community did not find any differences in adolescent outcomes for those mothers who reported being at-home mothers as compared with mothers who held other professions. 7  However, this was just a first glimpse of the subject.

Additional research needs to be done to determine how the various issues addressed in this paper might present differently in the Orthodox Jewish community. It is clear that we need to do a better job of guiding the next generation of parents on how to navigate the challenges of young parenthood.

Perhaps  chosson  and  kallah  (husband and wife) classes can include a segment on some of the guidelines discussed in this paper and rabbinic leaders can set a more mindful agenda about how to marshal the resources of our community to prioritize the importance of provision of high-quality childcare.

I can think of no priority as important as helping parents nourish their young child’s developing mind and soul by better equipping parents to manage the balance between work, parenting and marriage.

Here, a  note from Dr. Pelcovitz clarifying his intent in writing this article. 

To read firsthand accounts of women who successfully balance work and family, check out the Jewish Action article, Striking a Balance: Work and Family .

This has been reprinted from the  Klal Perspectives Journal  with edits.   Klal Perspectives is an electronic journal dedicated to addressing the unique challenges facing today’s Orthodox communities. Each issue consists of a symposium in which a diverse group of rabbinic and lay leaders share their different perspectives on a given topic.

[1] Brooks-Gunn, J. Han, W., Waldfogel, J. (2010), First-year maternal employment and child development in the first 7 years: VIII. Discussion and Conclusions.  Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development , Vol. 75(2), pp. 96-113.]  ↩

[2] Brooks-Gunn, J. Han, W., Waldfogel, J. (2010), First-year maternal employment and child development in the first 7 years:  Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development , Vol 75(2)  ↩

[3] Lucas-Thompson, R., Goldberg, W., Prause, J., (2010)Maternal work early in the lives of children and its distal associations with achievement and behavior problems: A meta-analysis.  Psychological Bulletin , 136(6)915-942.  ↩

[4] The NICHD Early Childcare Research Network (2005)  Childcare and child development: Results from the NICHD study of early childcare and youth development. ; New York, NY, Guilford Press.  ↩

[5] Lussier, G. (2002) Support Across Two Generations Children’s Closeness to Grandparents Following Parental Divorce and Remarriage.  Journal of Family Psychology, 16:363-376.  ↩

[6] Bugental, D. B., Lyon, J. E., Krantz, J. and Cortez, V., & Krantz, J. (1997). Who’s the boss? Accessibility of dominance ideation among individuals with low perceptions of interpersonal power.  Journa l  of Personality and Social Psychology , 72, 1297-1309.  ↩

[7] Cahn, J. (2011). Adolescent children of newly-Orthodox Jewish parents: Family functioning, parenting, and community integration as correlates of adjustment. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Yeshiva University Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration, New York.  ↩

David Pelcovitz, Ph.D. holds the Gwendolyn and Joseph Straus Chair in Psychology and Jewish Education at Yeshiva University’s Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education .

The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.

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Having a Working Mother Is Good For You

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Top 20 Advantages and Disadvantages of Working Mothers

Working mothers definition.

Working mothers are the ones who move out of the house for the purpose of earning money and also maintain household chores. The trend of being a housewife is now changing with the change and need of the time.

Working Mothers Day

International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8 every year . It is a focal point in the movement for women’s rights.

Every single woman prefers to work as they have the capability to balance both the work and family . It is now very rare that a girl does not prefer to work and chooses to remain at home as a housewife.

Working Mother Quotes from Most Powerful Women in the World

Former first lady of the united states – michelle obama :.

“ For me, being a mother made me a better professional, because coming home every night to my girls reminded me what I was working for. And being a professional made me a better mother because by pursuing my dreams, I was modelling for my girls how to pursue their dreams .”

YouTube CEO- Susan Wojcicki :

“ People assume it’s hard to have a child with the job I have, but my energy level is high. I also have a lot of resources at home and at work, not to mention the skills to run a big organization .”

Facebook COO and Lean In author Sheryl Sandberg :

“ When a couple announces that they are having a baby, everyone says ‘Congratulations!’ to the man and ‘Congratulations! What are you planning on doing about work?’ to the woman. The broadly held assumption is that raising their child is her responsibility. In more than thirty years, this perception has changed very little .”

Pepsico CEO Indra Nooyi :

“ You will look back and it will hurt like hell .”

Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington :

“ I think while all mothers deal with guilt, working mothers are plagued by guilt on steroids. ”

Working Women Statistics & Survey

Women at Work Stats

Source: bls.gov

Top 10 Best Companies for Working Mothers

  • Bank of America
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  • Prudential Financial

Working Mothers Research Papers

Here you can find the list of Research Papers that are related to the working mothers.

  • Working Mothers vs Stay at Home Mothers: The Impact On Children
  • The Effects of the Mother’s Employment on the Family and the Child
  • Working mothers – Australian Institute of Family Studies

As a coin has two sides, the concept of the working woman also has many advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of Working Mothers:

Here we are mentioning you a few positive effects and negative effects of working mothers. They are

1. Working Mother Children are Smart:

The children of working mothers become smart and active as compared to the children of non-working mothers. This is because of the fact that the mothers being working have to move out of the house leaving all the household chores intact.

The children behind understand their responsibilities and manage to do all their tasks without being dependent on others, thus become smart and active enough.

Mothers working from Home: Top alternatives to 9-5 Jobs

2. Independent:

The children become independent as they don’t find their mother at home all day long and thus they are left with no other option than doing their homework, breakfast, packing bags for school, preparing uniforms and all such things of their own.

Doing all those little tasks that a child can do on his own makes him independent and responsible. He or she no longer depend on others for their work and become co-operative to their mothers.

3. Inculcate good habits:

The working mothers are nowadays helped by their spouse in household chores after returning from work.

By seeing the fathers being a helping hand to mothers, children learn good habits and inculcate manners of helping others as well as their mothers, thus in this way good habits are inculcated in them.

4. Mothers shower more love:

The mothers who are working ought to remain away from home and their children for long hours and could not devote quality time with them.

But the other way is good as well as when mothers are back from work and spend less time with their kids, they show all their love and affection for them. So this is also one of the advantages of being a working mother.

5. Financial help:

A working mother also adds to the advantage of helping the family financially. It is beneficial as a woman becomes a helping hand to the husband in terms of money. Apart from this they also are gaining important life skills .

This way family runs in a very smooth way without any financial difficulty and the kids also get the best as parents are able to afford due to a good income level.

6. Kids get all facilities:

The woman when works, will be able to help her spouse in money matters. This further helps in giving their children world-class facilities as they are not short of money in any way. The kids are able to join extra classes and other activities also.

In this way, they become intelligent and spontaneous in their working. Those children stand different than the children of non-working mothers.

7. Inspiration for kids:

The mothers when work, become an inspiration for their kids as they look up to their mom and say that they aspire to be like their moms in the near future.

Working moms not only work but also look after their children without any difficulty. So such kids need to look at others for inspiration, but they get to see inspiration at home only. This way, they also learn to do hard work in their life.

8. Life becomes exciting:

Non-working mothers remain at home and are not more outgoing. This way they are not able to have or expand their friend circle, but the working mothers are able to do so and take their children out for outing whenever gets time. So that is the reason why every woman should work. 

In this way, the children also learn socializing, communicating and behaving in front of others.

9. Good standard of living:

A person can give his or her family a high standard of living and makes sure that no financial problem arises.

The kids also live life in a healthy and comfortable manner as all the comforts are provided by mom and dad.

This is not exactly the case with a non-working woman and their kids might remain aloof of all pleasures and comforts the children need in today’s era.

10. No dependence on the husband:

The working woman does not have to depend on the husband for money or any other thing.

She becomes independent and earns her own without relying on a husband. She is able to fulfil all her wants and needs without being accountable to anyone in the family.

Gender Equality at the Workplace:

Disadvantages of Working Mothers:

1. tiredness:.

After working for 10 hours continuously in office creates fatigue and tiredness. The activeness vanishes the moment the mother reaches home. This affects the whole family, including children, husband and the others in case of joint family.

Tiredness does not let the woman have an eye on her kids and this way kids may remain aloof for the whole day. Thus affecting the family life badly.

2. Health issues may arise:

A working mother has to manage both house and office both at an equal level that too on a daily basis.

Having the same routine regularly without any rest may lead to health issues and other problems which also ruins the family life.

If the mother becomes ill, the kids and the husband both are affected and this creates tension in one’s life.

3. Children may feel alone and fall into a bad company:

Children get freedom in excess when they don’t see mothers around to stop them from vices. This way they may fall into bad company and inculcate vices in them.

Not only this, they might feel alone and find for the company as mothers are not available for kids due to work.

4. Mothers are not able to attend important school meetings of kids:

Due to office work, working mothers are not able to attend the school meetings, functions etc. which may develop feelings of inferiority and guilt in them.

Such cases may end children going into depression, thus affecting their health to a larger extent.

5. Less time for kids:

A working woman is not able to devote quality time to their kids. This way the kids are not able to share their feelings and remain quite over the important matters. This makes them introvert and are not able to express their feeling with parents. But this problem can be solved if they gain time management skills .

6. Children are kept in child care centres:

Mothers have to keep their kids in childcare centres as there is no one to take care of them. Those kids remain void of love and motherly affection.

In such cases, the mother feels guilty for not sparing quality time to raise her kids and have to compromise in the development of the kids.

7. Missing out first words, first steps of kids:

The mothers who work i.e. are working have to compromise in terms of motherly emotions and miss all the first words, steps and activities for kids. This way she has to end up with all her feeling just to earn a little more for her kids and family.

8. No helping hand:

If the husband is not helping the wife in household chores, it may cause difficulty for her as she then has to work 24 hours all alone without any help, it may affect co-operation and husband-wife relationship, resulting in the end of such a pious relation.

This way the whole family gets destroyed and even the future of children is affected.

9. Suffering harassment at workplace:

Working women often have to suffer harassment like eve-teasing to even sexual harassment. Many women had to go through all such on a daily basis. Whereas non-working woman does not have to face all this.

10. Conclusion:

So, above are the advantages and disadvantages of being a working mother. Nowadays due to inflation and other economic problems it has become vital to make more efforts for good earning. So for such a thing, a woman has to earn and understand the responsibilities of her family.

Keeping aside the disadvantages of being a working mother, one should be positive and strive to see the advantages it offers a family. A working mother should feel proud of herself as she has the power to give best to her family at the same time not forgetting her responsibilities. One thing a woman should keep in mind is that she should not get angry or irritated over kids rather should try and tackle kids with love, affection and patience.


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To the Editor:

Re “ An Act of Defiance Can Improve Things for Working Moms ,” by Toby Kiers (Opinion guest essay, May 4):

I am a woman nearing the completion of my B.A. in philosophy, and I have the absurd hopes of going on to get my Ph.D. and work in academia and also have a family.

Dr. Kiers’s essay both shed light on the frustrating reality of the discrimination that mothers face in the world of academic research, and provided a shining beacon of hope to counteract it.

The false binary that women are presented and that so many people (including Dr. Kiers’s own child, she noted) assume is that we must decide: our research, our careers, our academic endeavors, or our children. One or the other.

Dr. Kiers has called this out; this is not actually a choice we have to make. Motherhood is not a detriment to our academic abilities and research contributions; it actually strengthens it in new and unexpected ways.

Dr. Kiers, in her refusal to choose between her research pursuits and her family, is helping to forge an exciting path forward. It is a path to a world where women can be celebrated, respected and supported with all that they are and all that they contribute, including their children.

That is the academic world I hope to enter into someday.

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Kudos to Dr. Toby Kiers! Her story is shared not only by fellow scientists, but by women at large. I admire her courage in bringing her 3-week-old son to work, and in pondering the advice of an older woman who discouraged her from being self-deprecating.

“What can feel like an inconvenience is often a blessing in disguise,” she writes. Amen to that! As far as detachment and vulnerability creating meaning? I now see vulnerability being valued and detachment being questioned in health care, via narrative prose and poetry by nurses and physicians.

I am a seasoned nurse. This article brought me back to the AIDS epidemic. In terms of science, we really had no idea what we were dealing with. I was on maternity leave and had come to know “brain fog” intimately. I received a call asking if I would open a new department for AIDS. After a day thinking about it, I accepted. My two boys went with me into the wilderness of men dying of a virus we knew little about.

My sons are now 40 and 50. The older one still recounts stories of things he learned and joy he felt at a party that those dying men held for us nurses on Mother’s Day. Vulnerability informing the work? You bet!

Pamela Mitchell Bend, Ore.

Since I am a woman who walked across the medical school graduation stage holding my toddler, while eight months pregnant with No. 2, I can certainly identify with Toby Kiers’s essay about managing a career as a scientist while parenting.

It was extremely trying for me to charge into residency with very small children at home. But I am blessed to have a wonderful husband who loved fathering, and was able to take a sabbatical for some of my residency.

As a result, our two daughters, now young adults, are very close to their father. I think that this is the real win in how things are evolving for women in the workplace. Partners get to join in on the nitty-gritty as well as the glorious moments of parenting.

I do believe I missed out on the sort of lovely parenting my mother gave me as a stay-at-home mom. But I was also able to show our daughters what commitment to an intellectual and humanistic goal looks like.

I certainly think medical residency programs are over the top in terms of workload and emotional toll; this needs to evolve. But I think enjoying the participation of both parents in the up-close-and-personal part of child-rearing makes all of our children stronger.

Susan Ferguson Berkeley, Calif.

Re “ Trump Embraces Lawlessness in the Name of a Higher Law ,” by Matthew Schmitz (Opinion guest essay, April 4):

Mythologizing Donald Trump — either Mr. Schmitz fancifully comparing him to outlaws like Robin Hood, Billy the Kid and Jesse James, who titillated people with their challenges to authority, or Christian evangelicals’ even more far-fetched casting of Mr. Trump as King Cyrus or even Jesus — fails because most of us see him for what he is, a narcissist with no positive agenda and no respect for the law.

If we must make comparisons, it’s to David Duke, the Klansman who ran for president, or Gov. George Wallace, standing in the schoolhouse door to block integration. The only people who saw them as rebels with a cause were themselves defending a lost cause, much like those who flock to MAGA now.

Steve Horwitz Moraga, Calif.

Re “ Inmate’s Death Highlights Failures in Mental Health ” (front page, May 6), about the troubled life and death of a prisoner, Markus Johnson:

As a social worker who has worked in the field of mental health for more than 50 years, I read with interest and sadness yet another article about a mentally ill individual who was not provided with adequate treatment and subsequently died in prison.

This article highlights the failure of deinstitutionalization. It demonstrates how our prisons have become the institutions replacing those that formerly housed the mentally ill. Not only are the mentally ill being ill served, but so too is the public, which is at risk of harm from those hallucinating on the streets.

Our shelter system is also not in a position to manage needed services and supervision. The last resort is a cell. I believe that providing long-term residential programs with highly supervised step-down programs would provide a solution to the tragedies we currently read about daily. Certainly the cost would be less than incarceration.

Let’s look to providing real help rather than punishment for our mentally ill population.

Helen Rubel Irvington, N.Y.

“ Offshore Oil Production Expands as Companies Cite Energy Needs ” (Business, May 10) lays out Big Oil’s plan for the Gulf of Mexico. Let’s be real: We’re in a global climate crisis. The last thing we need is for the fossil fuel industry to expand offshore drilling.

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There is a huge backlog when it comes to plugging defunct or abandoned wells, removing old oil platforms and remediating the seafloor damaged by drilling operations. Oil and gas companies have already littered the Gulf of Mexico with more than 18,000 miles of disused pipeline and over 14,000 unplugged wells , which can leak chemicals like methane into the ocean.

It also comes with financial risks: If offshore oil and gas operators file for bankruptcy (as 37 have done since 2009 ), U.S. taxpayers could be forced to foot the bill for cleanup.

Enough is enough: We cannot afford more offshore drilling.

Andrew Hartsig Anchorage The writer is senior director, Arctic conservation, for Ocean Conservancy.

Understanding and Overcoming Challenges Faced by Working Mothers: A Theoretical and Empirical Review

  • First Online: 20 August 2016

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working mothers disadvantages essay

  • Isaac E. Sabat 3 ,
  • Alex P. Lindsey 3 ,
  • Eden B. King 3 &
  • Kristen P. Jones 3  

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Working mothers face different sets of challenges with regards to social identity, stigmatization, and discrimination within each stage of the employment cycle, from differential hiring practices, unequal career advancement opportunities, ineffective retention efforts, and inaccessible work-family supportive policies (Jones et al. in The Psychology for Business Success. Praeger, Westport, CT, 2013 ). Not only do these inequalities have negative effects on women, but they can also have a detrimental impact on organizations as a whole. In this chapter, we review several theoretical and empirical studies pertaining to the challenges faced by women throughout their work-motherhood transitions. We then offer strategies that organizations, mothers, and allies can use to effectively improve the workplace experiences of pregnant women and mothers. This chapter will specifically contribute to the existing literature by drawing on identity management and ally research from other domains to suggest additional strategies that female targets and supportive coworkers can engage into help remediate these negative workplace outcomes. Finally, we highlight future research directions aimed at testing the effectiveness of these and other remediation strategies, as well as the methodological challenges and solutions to those challenges associated with this important research domain. We call upon researchers to develop more theory-driven, empirically tested intervention strategies that utilize all participants in this fight to end gender inequality in the workplace.

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Sabat, I.E., Lindsey, A.P., King, E.B., Jones, K.P. (2016). Understanding and Overcoming Challenges Faced by Working Mothers: A Theoretical and Empirical Review. In: Spitzmueller, C., Matthews, R. (eds) Research Perspectives on Work and the Transition to Motherhood. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-41121-7_2

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Advantages and Disadvantages of Being a Working Mother

A working mom using her laptop with a glass of milk at her side

Today, we no longer see a woman as a stay-at-home mother with stereotyped tasks. In the past, we used to define motherhood that involves lifelong goals of taking care of children and doing household chores alone. That all changed when people worldwide fought for the freedom we enjoy today. Women now play a vital role to contribute to the economy, thus proving they can compete in the job market. Still, some believe mothers should be staying home and tend to their children’s needs. However, women of today beg to differ. So, what are the pros and cons of being working moms?

Pros of Being a Working Mother

Even if they can’t attend to their children full-time, working mothers experience various benefits with their living status. We listed some of these advantages below.

1. Working moms become positive role models.

Children should know women shouldn’t be just domestic servants. Instead, a woman can be someone who works outside the home and pursue a professional career. This instills in children the idea that a woman’s role can include a thriving career apart from domestic tasks. Working for a living knows no gender—and working moms are a living proof of that.

A working mother carrying her child along the shores of a beach

2. They raise more independent children.

Children of working mothers tend to become more independent. Since working moms need to teach kids how to do chores on their own, they develop a strong sense of responsibility at an early age.

3. Working moms are less prone to depression.

According to Robert Locke, health expert and contributor in Lifehack , stay-at-home mothers are likely to suffer from depression. This finding may negatively contribute to childcare. So, as a working mom, it’s a good thing you can fight depression and anxiety in your own way.

4. They have stories to tell outside their personal life.

Aside from their family life, working parents have the opportunity to extend their circle with their colleagues. This also lets them go on work outings and bring along their children. That’s quality time with their family and colleagues in one.

Cons of Being a Working Mother

While it has its fair share of upsides, being a working mom also has its downsides. Here are some of them.

1. Working moms are more tired and stressed.

Just imagine working for nine hours, suffering through the traffic while driving home, and going home to restless children who need a parent’s attention. Working moms go through these almost every day, along with other matters they need to attend to.

A working mom getting her blood pressure checked

2. They are also prone to health issues.

What happens when you involve working mothers with stress? Health issues. Having the same daily routine with little to no rest can put a mother’s health at risk, which can result to more problems.

3. They may miss out on the lives of their kids.

Some working moms miss out on the opportunity to witness their child’s first word, first step, and other priceless moments. Thus, it’s a drawback faced by a working mom supporting her family.

4. Working moms may also have less time for their family.

At times, they can’t attend family events due to their busy schedules. Also, some working moms tend to dedicate most of their time in their careers, so they may have less attention to family matters.

Work-Life Balance for Working Moms

Aside from knowing the pros and cons of being a working mom, read about helpful tips how one can juggle the joys of life and stresses of work.

While having to provide for their family financially, working women can take steps helping them achieve a more worthwhile work-life balance. With that, heed these pieces of advice.

1. Accept help whenever you can get it.

From babysitting, cleaning the house, cooking dinner, or even doing the laundry, let your family, friends, and colleagues help you. If they initiate to offer a helping hand, take it. It’s a win-win situation.

2. Surround yourself with supportive people.

Don’t be afraid to ask for support especially during tough times. Surrounding yourself with people who trust you and will help you through thick and thin helps you manage your life better.

3. Learn self-care.

Yes, you may be providing for your family while making your career worthwhile; but it doesn’t mean leaving yourself out. Meditate, exercise, go shopping, get your hair and nails done, or get a massage. Self-care helps us become less susceptible to depression, anxiety, stress, and other emotional health issues.

A healthy breakfast prepared by a working mom

4. Make mornings easier.

Organize your chores the night before. Avoid a frenzied morning by doing this. Pack your kids’ lunches, iron their clothes, and decide what you want to make for breakfast.

5. Limit distractions.

Children are dependent on their parent’s attention. Their emotional development and well-being depend on how much time you spend with them. So discipline yourself and set a time limit when checking your phone or watching TV.

Be bold in discovering new opportunities to provide for your family. So if you’re a stay-at-home mom thinking of pursuing a career, be practical and smart in acing your job hunt. Start with a compelling resume written by the experts! Best 10 Resume Writers reviewed the best resume writing companies who offer various services tailored for your job search needs. Read our resume writing services reviews now and be ready to enjoy the wonders of being a working mom!

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Advantages And Disadvantages Of Working Mothers Essay

Introduction: Women's work plays an important role in our life, which occupies a huge part in our society. Women working is the most issue currently facing the world. It is distributed between followers and opposes of this issue. Some favor not to encourage women in the job to stay at the house taking care of their kids and husbands. The followers support women to work according to that the work is important for the growth of communities and to develop its character. Beside the supporter and opposes, there are many advantages and disadvantages of these issues. In my research, I will discuss the Working Mothers and why some people are against mother to work? What is the effect of her children? Working Mothers: The most important support of the house is the mother. The entire family spins around her, and they require her for receiving assistance with diet, education, recovering missing stuff, clothes, and becoming ready for the job and all. Besides with all this, when the mother went to work thereby this can become extremely defy. There are some women who do not …show more content…

First, the kid's employed mothers are more powerful in their learning more than kids of mothers who are not working. Working mothers, which are a part-time worker, possess confident influences on kid’s educational performance since they have the extra knowledge and sources to fill on their kids learning. Furthermore, working mother helps their kids to be more responsible and teach them how to rely on them.( Luscombe2010) Advantages of women's work: 1- Women gain self-confidence and independence by joining in work. 2- The women will be more familiar and own huge knowledge on a daily base. 3- Increase the level of living of their family. Disadvantages of women work: 1- Women's are Busy and growing her children and committing them to nurseries. 2- Sometimes work make the woman nervous and therefore affect her

Derek Thompson's A World Without Work

Lately, questions have arisen about the true meaning of work. Work has been a significance to humans since the time around the middle 1600’s. Although work began at this time, it evolved into something more powerful and advanced a couple more centuries later. During the late 18th century, the work force began to boom during the industrial period. The world was heavily influenced by the work field and managed to establish one’s sense of character. If one worked their determination and values were clearly sought out by others. The importance of work begins with women becoming involved, wanting to make a difference in society and show the men they could do it too. Consequently, leaving the world to wonder if work is even a necessity to the civilian

Division of Labor in a Household

Scholars have researched on how to integrate gender within the main organizing constructs of social life. One social realm where scholars have vastly research is family structure. The family institution has encountered much gender problem issue, starting with "who does the housework". During this period of time, where women are gaining more civil freedom in society, there has still been a struggler for equality within society and family spheres. I investigated how gender role is significant within the family institutional context, especially in the division of labor in household. The second shift, which is used by Hochschild, "borrowed from the industrial life" is an "idea that homemaking was a shift", it is a second shift because the first shift is labor force." Moreover, the idea of the "devotion to family scheme" is a culture model that defines marriage and motherhood as a women's primary vocation. Therefore with these two notions on the family roles, the main driving question of this research is how do urban employed married couples with children divide the housework.

The Unfinned Revolution By Kathleen Gerson

Both men and women hope to be parents someday, and both recognize the importance of working and parenting. While some are confident leaving their children with a nanny for extended periods of time, most students portrayed a desire to be financially stable and have time to cultivate memories with their family. They then went on to say that both parents would have to work at least part-time in order to make such a family dynamic work for the benefit of

Sexism in The Work Place Essay

  • 6 Works Cited

Women for years have been automatically given the role of the domestic housewife, where their only job is to cook, clean, and take care of the children. Men have usually taken the primary responsibility for economic support and contact with the rest of society, while women have traditionally taken the role of providing love, nurturing, emotional support, and maintenance of the home. However, in today’s society women over the age of sixteen work outside of the home, and there are more single parent households that are headed by women than at any other time in the history of the United States (Thompson 301.)

Examples Of Gender Inequality In The United States

Women are sometimes more nurturing than some men when it comes to taking care of their family members or children. When a woman becomes pregnant they receive a maternity leave which also puts a hold on their income, making it easier for the man of the household to have a higher paying job (Joan Acker, 1989). Another example, when a child of a family gets sick most of the time the woman is the one to leave work early and stay home with the child. Some job sites have paid maternity leave but then many do not. Women have greater recourse to part-time work so they can combine work and family responsibilities (Joan Acker, 1989). During the older days, women were not allowed to enter professions such as medicine or law, married women had no property rights, they were not allowed to vote, married women were not even present in the eyes of the law. From then to now a lot has changed but women still are not

The Importance Of Work In The Feminine Mystique, By Betty Friedan

“The Importance of Work” is an essay from The Feminine Mystique, by Betty Friedan. The whole essay talks about how humans can contribute to the society with their full capacities through work and that women should hold jobs equivalent to men. Friedan insists that men and women need work that satisfies their creativity and contributes to human society. Today, doing paid work is a necessity because it helps us get through the day wether for our needs or our pleasures. The money earned from work supports the whole family. According to Mrs. Olive Schreiner, “if women did not win back their right to a full share of honored and useful work, women’s mind and muscle would weaken in a parasitic state; her offspring, male and female would weaken progressively, and civilization itself would deteriorate.” (Friedan 8) I strongly agree with this statement. I believe that the work ethic of most generations are influenced by parents. It is obvious that we look up to our parents. If the parents do not show any desire to work, their children will copy them and will not contribute to society. If a mother who is a stay-at-home mother or has a different job does not work hard or does not show any work ethic, her children will look up to her and follow her footsteps and eventually “civilization would deteriorate.” (Friedan 8)

Plight of the Little Emperors

The article talks about how some mothers who gave up their employment to monitor their children’s studies and also go to school with them, just to make sure their children succeed. Parents even monitor their children’s five plus hours of nightly homework. Children aren’t allowed to watch television until the homework is done.

Essay Gender Roles in Alice Munro’s Boys and Girls

Whether it is the past or the present, there have always been gender roles in society. In most homes, it is the woman’s responsibility to take care of the house. This includes cleaning, meal preparations, raising and taking care of the children as well as the husband. Compared to the men who take care of the more physical activities, such as yard work. It was known throughout many years that it was a woman’s responsibility to stay in the house while the man would go out and look for work to provide money for his family. Although the intensity of gender roles has changed, it still exists.

Changing Gender Roles In The 1800's

The world of education, economics and everyday life is constantly changing with needs and demands changing in every part of the world. The reliance on humans is also decreasing with modernization of factories and buildings, but the greater change is the roles of women in society and everyday life. Through the text, essay and speech, it is revealed that gender roles have changed since 1881 in the areas of employment and marriage; thus, the sources demonstrate that gender roles have changed because the needs and outlooks on women have changed over time.

Essay On Paid Maternity Leave

A mere 12 weeks is the amount of unpaid maternity leave promised to working mothers under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) in America. Although many mothers-to-be gladly take the dozen weeks off, American families are at a disadvantage compared to other families around the globe. The United States is the only industrialized nation in the world that does not guarantee or even offer paid maternity leave for working mothers; employers decide whether to provide paid leave for mothers. In the last few decades, more women have traded their aprons for briefcases. However, working women in the United States must choose to raise families while keeping their jobs. Currently, women in the United States must choose between their kids or their career. Mothers who decide to have families must stay at home with a new baby with no guarantee of a paycheck. New mothers should be guaranteed six months of fully paid maternity leave in the United States because they need to restore their health, paid leave helps the economy, and it promotes better health of the baby.

What Are The Stereotypes Of Working Women

Gender roles is a very controversial topic in today’s society, especially when it comes to working. 100 years ago, in Europe, women were working long hours in factories. Women also worked as nurses, cleaned wealthy people 's homes, and were craftswomen. Meanwhile, 100 years ago in the United States women were expected to stay home and take care of the family/home, while the men went out and worked an average of ten hours a day for six days a week, compared to the traditional five day weeks and 8 hour days.

The Challenges Faced By Women

Throughout the history of mankind, the rank of women has been extremely pivotal in the development of the humans. At present, the progress of the nation is determined by the high positions of the women in the society in terms of the employment and the work. It is said that without the contribution of the women in the political, business, social, economic and national activities, the growth of the country will stagnate. Although in the past, the women were more accustomed to working in homes and taking care of children, etc. but now they are stepping into the outside world due to advances in education for women and increasing awareness.

Essay about Women in the Workforce

The sight of a working woman today is not something that causes one to look twice. However, this was not always the case. It was a long struggle for women to get to where they are today, and there is still a long way to go. There were a few momentous occasions throughout history that caused a shift in the way women were viewed as workers, such as the need for workers during World War II, the Equal Pay Act, and the appointment of Sandra Day O’Connor to the Supreme Court. Women have made great strides in integrating themselves into the workforce alongside men and continue to do so today.

Compare And Contrast Stay At Home Mom Vs Working Mom

Being a working mom or a stay-at-home mom both has their benefits and drawbacks. Most of us don’t get the luxury to choose. Instead we must choose one or the other. I have had to make these choose several times throughout the eleven years since I became a mom. I will share with you some examples of the benefits and drawbacks that go with both being a working mom or a stay-at-home mom.

Advantages Of Working Mothers

A major advantage of being a working mother is the income that she brings into her home. The more money that is brought into the home, the more the family can do and have. Let’s look at a certain situation: a family of four with two working parents. With two incomes coming into the household, there is more financial room to spend money on what they may please. The family can have a nicer home, cars, and clothes. Let’s not forget vacations. With more income coming into the household the family may be able to afford to go on extravagant vacations, or maybe can vacation more often. Another perk with the income of a working mother is that her family will never have to worry about not having anyone to watch her children. Instead of paying a babysitter or dropping the kids off at mom and dads the family has the option of putting the children in daycare, or even hiring their own nanny to watch the kids while the parents work. However, more family income isn’t the only perk of being a working mom.

Related Topics

  • Family Life

Stay-at-Home Moms Vs Working Moms: Here's Looking At The Advantages And Disadvantages

Struggling to decide whether to rejoin work after pregnancy or be a stay-at-home mom? Here are the advantages and disadvantages of working mothers versus looking after the baby at home

Stay-at-Home Moms Vs Working Moms: Here's Looking At The Advantages And Disadvantages

This has to be one of the most debated topics of all time. Should I stay at home or resume work after the arrival of the baby? Women face many challenges in both scenarios and are often caught in the dilemma of what to do post-delivery. As all mothers know, it is not an easy decision.

Barring a few exceptions, the concept of working moms, or even working women for that matter, was not very prevalent in the early ages. But as many women came out of the confines of their homes during the struggle for India's freedom, they also started to look for opportunities to work.

For ages, few women in our country defied norms to join the workforce. Most led a routine and domesticated life confined to their houses with minimal interaction with the outside world. But this entire scenario has witnessed a change in the last few decades, with almost every sector now being represented by women.

Change in workplace dynamics

Moreover, with industrialization and globalization, India saw a drastic change in workplace dynamics. Not only did it create employment and job opportunities, but it also helped in changing the mindset of the people. It was a new ray of hope for women who wanted to showcase their skills and expertise, attaining financial independence in the process.

Lack of a support system

Though there has been a lot of changes when it comes to working women, there are still some impediments when new mothers want to go back to work, after giving birth to a baby. A woman's career inevitably takes a back seat after motherhood.

This is not because the woman is less interested in pursuing her career but because she lacks a support system that would allow her to go to work without worrying about her child or looking after the needs of the family. These include a dearth of child care facilities and daycare centers closer to her workplace, the fact that she cannot get enough help from the family, lack of reliable babysitters, and so on.

Motherhood is a blessing. However, being a working mother has to be one of the toughest jobs. Also, due to many constraints, women prefer to be stay-at-home moms.

However, there are pros and cons in both scenarios and mothers should follow whatever is best for them, based on their specific situation.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Stay-at-Home Moms

Advantages and disadvantages of working mothers.

These days, there are many work options that allow you to use your free time by taking up work-from-home assignments. But you have to strike a smart balance to avoid a burn-out

Whether you are a stay-at-home mom or a working mom, both have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Hence, a smarter and feasible option can be jobs that allow you to work from home for some time - like when the baby's asleep.

This is less daunting as compared to a regular office job and moreover, you can dedicate your time to taking care of your child. If you decide to be a working mother, make sure you have a good support system in place, to avoid getting stressed. In both scenarios, allow yourself to enjoy once in a while and allocate some time to relax on your own.

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IELTS Essay # Working Women

You should spend 40 minutes on this task. In the 21st century, many women have come out of their home to become what we call working women. What are the advantages and disadvantages of women joining the workforce? Write at least 250 words.

Sample Answer -One

When most countries were fighting for democracy and freedom from British rule, an internal turmoil was happening simultaneously. The struggle of women to get equal rights and by the end of 20th century, women have surely made their presence visible in the global world. Although, with more women working, there is growing economy and better lifestyle, certain areas like kids and home have surely got the back seat.

In this positive social change scenario with women becoming part of corporate organisations and, for that matter, establishing their own ventures, has helped them do things independently, making them more confident and even helped them gain self respect. This has in turn reduced the physical or mental abuse cases. In addition, women being more emotionally mature, a woman at higher level in an organisation can bring more stability to the company.

However, with more and more women joining multinational companies, has certainly given a back step to the children and social life. With both partners working, there is less of time for family life, leaving the children unhappy and lonely. It has often been seen that now kids are more likely to take a wrong step than ever before. Moreover, cases of depression and anxiety are more prevalent in kids than ever before. A woman is the person who makes a house, home. With women finding it difficult to juggle home and work, the quality of life gets deteriorated.

Overall, work has allowed women to grow individually, develop their skills and become more creative than ever before. However, when women are asked to between work and home, with no help from their partners, it leaves the family and kids feeling left out.

Sample Answer -Two

The economy of the world is booming, we have stable organizations, smarter kids and a lifestyle like never before. This is not because a magician has just changed the course of history. But because women have finally come out of their homes to find themselves, let their creative juices flow and to bring about a change in the world. But, just like the two faces of coin, with more and more woman working , there are certain areas of our lives, that have taken a back seat.

On the positive side, women who work, tend to be more financially independent. This allows them to do things just for themselves without being accountable to anyone in the family. Secondly, working women often  set an example for their kids, being a source of inspiration for their children. For example, once in an interview, Indira Nooyi’s daughter was asked what does she wants to be in her life. She simply said, she wants to be herself with all the great things her mother has taught her, by example.

However, on the downside, a woman who chooses to work, has more on her platter than her peers. She has to not only juggle between work and home but also take care of herself, which woman often forget to do. As a result, their is a steep decline in the health of a woman. Even more, a woman has to face, in many cases, sexual harassment at workplace, which makes life more miserable.

Overall, a business women, has so much to offer to the society in terms of experience, intelligence and personality. However, when there is no helping hand, it often leads her to being exhausted and tired, causing a work life imbalance.

In the 21st century, with more and more countries gaining freedom, there are more number of women joining the workforce. So, one can find an increased head count of women in companies, as employers, as entrepreneurs or as business heads. Although, some believe it is the best for the world that women start working while others are of the opinion that there are lot of disadvantages with women joining the workforce. Let us today have a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of working women.


  • Smarter Kids – Working women tend to have smarter and more active kids when compared to their counterparts who don’t work. This is because a working women has to move out of the house leaving the house intact. Their kids understand better their responsibility and hence learn simple things faster.
  • Financial Stability – A working women adds to the family financially. It is beneficial for a family in large as their are less financial issues and kids get the best as parents are able to afford it.
  • More facilities for kids – When the family operates on money earned by both the husband and wife, there is surely more cash inflow, allowing the kids to be able to join better schools, better extra classes and learn things better.
  • Inspiration- A working woman is often a inspiration for her kids. A child learns more from her mother than he or she learns from anyone else. A working woman is very easily able to teach her kids the importance of hard work, of balancing life and staying happy even in tough times.
  • Freedom – A working woman is more independent than her counterparts. She is free to take her decisions independent of either her parents or her spouse. She knows that her choices and decisions directly impact her and with the freedom to take her own decisions, she becomes more creative and bold.
  • Increased self-respect – A working women is entirely self dependent on herself and with she struggling with so many other things in life, she gains lot of respect for herself.


  • Health Issues – A working woman has to manage both house and office at equal level leaving her tired and emaciated at the end of the day. This often leaves very less time for the girl to take care of herself, making her more prone to diseases.
  • More chances of children to fall into bad company – When a child gets more freedom it does makes them responsible. But, in some cases it even leads them to bad company and with working women, it is very difficult to find out what their kids are up to.
  • Gap Between Kids and Mothers – Due to office work, most mothers are not able to attend their kids parent meeting and hence are not in very touch of their child’s progress. It often leaves them guilty and some children tend to go into stage of depression.
  • Harassment at Workplace – Working women have to suffer harassment at workplace. It could be sexual harassment or mental harassment, leaving a lot of void in the life of a woman.
  • More Burden – If a woman finds no helping hand, from her partner, it causes difficulty as she has to work 24 hours without any help, causing drift in the husband wife relationship.

Overall, there are several advantages of working women and if a woman gets a supportive hand from the society and her spouse, things can really be turned into something very beautiful with no disadvantages at all.


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Tyrese Exits Show Mid-Performance to Allegedly Avoid Being Served With Lawsuit Papers

The singer was performing "How You Gonna Act Like That" when he made a getaway.

Tyrese was performing in Georgia over the weekend when he quite literally exited stage right in the middle of a song to allegedly dodge someone who was going to serve him legal papers.

According to TMZ , Tyrese was nearly done with his set when a security guard attendant stood next to him onstage and informed him of a process server's presence at the venue. While singing "How You Gonna Act Like That"—which feels like a joke that writes itself—the 45-year-old jumped off the stage and walked up the side steps as he made his way to the exit.

Tyrese continued singing and expressed his appreciation for the crowd before making a successful getaway.

Tyrese getting served legal documents while performing “How You Gonna Act Like That?” is one of the funniest things I’ve seen so far in life 😂 pic.twitter.com/NZRCbk0yqq — Austin🕺🏼 (@A_FarrisWheel) May 13, 2024

A source tells TMZ that there were only three songs remaining on the setlist.

The "What Am I Gonna Do" singer is facing a $10 million defamation and libel lawsuit from Bryan Barber, who accuses Tyrese of attacking his " character and reputation " in an interview on the Breakfast Club .

Barber claims Tyrese falsely stated that the director kept footage from a recorded interview with Charlamagne tha God. Instead, Barber alleges the singer asked him to hold the footage to protect his reputation.

The director also argues "Gibson refused to adhere to the previous 50/50 revenue split that he and Barber previously negotiated for the CTG Interview."


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Analysis In its 2024 budget, the Victorian government forgets debt, dreams big and crosses its fingers

There's a clear and simple message you get from reading the Victorian government's budget papers : don't panic.

Sure, there's a few numbers that will widen your eyes.

Money the government gets in (revenue) for the next financial year is $96.1 billion, which is less than projected it will spend (expenses) of $98.3 billion.

And yes, debt is $156.2 billion rising to $187.8 billion by 2027-28 – which by that time will be 25 per cent of the value of all the goods and services produced in the state in a year (called gross state product or GSP).

And OK, that means a daily interest bill on the debt of about $15 million, climbing to more than $25 million a day by 2027.

But why worry? This is Victoria. Get with the program.

That program — if you buy into the government's vision — is a rapidly-growing population that will buy property, find employment and get around on mega-transport projects due to open just before the next state election.

There are schools, tunnels, hospitals and roads to service this swelling growth, as Melbourne (where the vast majority of Victorians live) becomes the nation's largest city, overtaking a waterside resort for squillionaires to the north that also houses normal people.

red brochure with school girl on the front

All that needs to happen is for employment to stay strong, inflation and construction costs to keep moderating, interest rates to go no higher, workers to find housing that is being built at a far slower rate than people are moving here and a few other "risk factors".

Fingers crossed, eh?

The problems

With the immense debt and still unfunded mega-projects like a circular underground railway (the Suburban Rail Loop) about to start digging, you would expect a state government 2.5-years from an election would raise money and cut costs — hard.

There's a bit of that, but not much. It's more Facebook Marketplace than selling a kidney.

The government is making extra cash by:

  • Shifting commercial and industrial properties from a stamp duty (cost when sold) system to one that kicks in 10 years after the sale and is then annual.
  • People dumping stuff at the tip will pay more, bringing it into line with fees for New South Wales and South Australia.
  • Lifting the Fire Services Levy from where it started a decade ago to a higher level.

The savings are also pretty minimal. There's things like ending the Sick Pay Guarantee, a COVID-era pilot of paying sick leave to casuals. With a more "worker friendly" regime in power federally (the government's words) the pilot is over for now.

The Jacinta Allan-led government will also trim in costs by:

  • Ending some COVID-era employment.
  • Reducing office space as work-from-home and those reduced numbers impact the desks required. 
  • Trimming in a program to expand state-funded pharmacy and care clinics.
  • Making the money for Breakthrough Victoria, which funds speculative start-up tech businesses, stretch for 15-years rather than the original 10-years it was meant to.

It's not exactly ring all the alarms stuff is it? That's because they're not worried.

Get with the program and all cost is an investment. Public sector wages help pump private sector ones. Infrastructure unlocks value.

Remember the daily cost of that interest bill? Treasurer Tim Pallas calculates it as "1/4000th of one per cent of the economy" – an infinitesimal smidge of nothingness compared to the riches that await Victorians … if it all works out.

And there's a surprising group helping them get there.

Opposing forces

At the end of 2022 Victorians went to the polls.

After the painful repeated lockdowns in Melbourne — and with the exploding cost of keeping the state alive barely covered by a federal government accused of a lack of interest or care in the plight of the southern mainland state — there were a lot of predictions about the fate of the then eight-year-old government.

Plenty of interstate commentators had written Dan Andrews' political obituary, based on his bombastic personality, COVID-era decisions and ballooning debt.

But at the election the government didn't lose seats. It gained them.

Daniel Andrews speaks at press conference

By the time the next election rolls around Liberal-National opposition will have been in power for just four years between 1999 and 2026.

Some could say their show of unity, policy ideas and the cut-through they are making with the Victorian public show a resolute commitment to remaining in opposition.

What even is money?

Underpinning all of this are a few things that might not seem obvious.

One is the immense employment that's been delivered by infrastructure programs, public sector growth and things like "free TAFE".

Another is that the government has literally built credibility by starting and finishing big projects — new schools and hospitals, the removal of scores of level crossings — sprinkled in every corner of the state.

Adding to it is that COVID changed what people think about government, debt, and the role of the state in guiding the economy — we're seeing that federally too, as taxpayers invest billions in specific companies and industries.

Tim Pallas and Jacinta Allan in Victorian parliament during question time

If you think any government is going to leave the future to the invisible hand of the free market, you haven't been paying attention. That's gone.

A final element is that there's not a compelling competing vision about Victoria's growth and how it is being dealt with.

People can be unhappy about the untold millions spent on infrastructure, but when a new five-station underground rail line opens under the central business district next year, I don't expect a protest march out the front about the cost.

More likely is that people will use it, love it and ask a pressing question: When will there be one where I live?

  • X (formerly Twitter)
  • Interest Rates
  • Public Transport
  • State and Territory Government
  • Warrnambool


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