African American women in the workplace
Struggling to balance it all
From burning bras and fighting for women’s right to vote, to the most successful and lucrative Fortune 500 companies now being run by female executives, women reap the benefits of a history of struggle and sexism that today seems unconceivable.
According to a 2009 news report, women are on the verge of outnumbering men in the workforce for the first time—a historic reversal caused by long-term changes in women’s roles and massive job losses for men during this recession. Women held 49.83 percent of the nation’s 132 million jobs in June, and are gaining the vast majority of jobs in the few sectors of the economy that are growing, according to the most recent numbers available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
On one hand, the statistics above can be seen as a good thing. There is an abundance of women in the workforce now who are opening doors to all who qualify regardless of sex. This influx of women heralds a growing trend of more acceptance and equality amongs men and women in corporate settings. Yet, there is still more work that needs to be done. Although women of color now comprise 14.5 percent of the American workforce, as stated in a new study from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, they do not always experience the accomplishments mentioned above.
Of all women of color, African Americans continue to represent the highest rate of employment at 7.6 percent of the total work force. However, according to a study published in U.S. Today during the past decade, they have made the smallest gains with regard to total employment and higher-level positions-far below the growth rates of Hispanic and Asian women.
It is somewhat hard to understand why there isn’t much research available that concentrates specifically on this racial group. Of the research that is available, rarely do they specifically tackle the life of African American mothers in today’s workforce, or narrow it down to specific issues such as the struggle for African American mothers to manage work and home-life.
According to Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, research like this is important, for today’s workforce and companies because as the 7.6 percent of African American women in the workforce rises, understanding workers and the culturally specific problems they face is important if a company is to fully thrive and succeed.
By recognizing that different races handle work and life conflicts differently (either because of culture, experience, family background, education, etc.), companies could benefit tremendously if they can make their workers feel important, and understood.
This lack of extensive race-specific research raises several questions that concern me as an African American woman and soon-to-be college graduate, who plans to enter this workforce. Is there really a difference between the races, when it comes to work-life management? Do African American women face unique problems when balancing work and life, or is simply a perception issue that African American women perceive they have it harder than other women in the workforce?
Does the work-life conflict African American women feel stem from lack of ability or is it a greater, much deeper problem?
DISCLAIMER: The beliefs and viewpoints expressed in opinion pieces, letters to the editor, by columnists and/or contributing writers are not necessarily those of Our Weekly.
Women, you need to fix yourself and be independent.
Take my advice into consideration, don’t be offended.
Stop complaining about your man; love him for who he is,
If you are not stable, stop opening your legs and pushing out kids.
Stop looking for love in all the wrong places.
Don’t stay with a man if he keeps catching cases.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—More than 51,000 people are homeless in Los Angeles County, a 3 percent drop from 2009, according to a report released today.
The report, by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, which counts the homeless once every two years, found that social service agencies and homeless prevention programs have helped keep the numbers level despite the economic downturn.
I just recently celebrated my 23rd birthday with my number one gal.
Dear Ms. Norwood:
I recently read your article entitled “A Black Woman’s Dating Dilemma.” When I first read it, I said ‘here we go again. Another bashing of the Black male.’ Then I said forgive them (referring to LaShaun Williams) they know not what they are saying.
Every since the White man came to America and took all the land from the Indians and enslaved Blacks, he has put himself on a pedestal and declared himself superior. Here we are centuries later still putting him on pedestal and making him superior.
I recently received a letter accusing me of being a “Black male basher” because of an article I wrote last week entitled the “Black Woman’s Dating Dilemma,” and after recently seeing the documentary “Diary of a Tired Black Man,” I felt I was being unfairly grouped into the “angry Black woman” category that the film shed light on.
In the letter I received, a very passionate Vincent Baker made a few comments that I would like to highlight.