Helping to Paint the Picture of a New Reality for Women in America
For decades, women have been vying to become an equal entity in the home and workplace. Today, these circumstances have drastically changed, says a new report spearheaded by award-winning journalist and First Lady of California, Maria Shriver. The Shriver Report contains extensive research in a series of eye-opening pieces describing the current condition of women in the workforce relating to social and structural changes in our perception of the modern woman.
For the first time in the history of our nation, the number of men and women in the workforce is equal. The Shriver Report aims to highlight the importance of this trend and how it affects familial structures, faith and institutions. Likewise, the Report helps its audience understand that the elimination of gender gaps marks a pivotal shift in our perception of women’s roles in and out of the home.
The Contributors to the Shriver Report asked important questions concerning the American woman today. Who is she? How does she define herself? How does she define modern gender roles? How does she disprove female stereotypes? In asking these questions, the writers were able to find out what drives women to be successful, how they feel about their impact on society and how they have defied what used to be “the norm.” The pieces that comprise the report are written by prominent women in the workforce who strive to address the new issues concerning the constant changes in family dynamics, industry and faith that come with economic and social changes. The report also includes several pieces by chief economist, Heather Boushey of the Center for American Progress (CAP).
Ultimately, the report seeks to change the stereotypical perception of the nuclear family, as well as the place of women in society. Women are no longer seen as housewives or stay-at-home mothers. They play an integral part in keeping our economy moving and supporting their families. We see more and more female CEOs and executives of major companies as well as women raising the bar in the workplace.
In light of the recent economic downturn, women are often emerging as the family breadwinners, sometimes outshining their male counterparts. Recent statistics show that at least 3/4 men have been in and out of jobs since December of 2007 when the economy began to recess. In these situations, women are often at an advantage because they are left to replace the men.
As a result of this shift in gender roles in modern day America, men and women must now work together on the same level, rather than engaging in a battle of the sexes. In this new reality, men and women are faced with the decision of whose job it is to raise children, provide for the family, etc. Ultimately, society must let go of preconceived notions concerning outdated family dynamics to move forward and make a progressive change.
As women business owners, this change levels the playing field drastically. Women owned businesses contribute nearly $3 trillion per year to the U.S. economy according to the Center for Women’s Business Research. In turn, this stimulation of the economy creates new jobs, which are being taken by an overwhelming number of women and inspires other females of all ages to feel empowered to pursue their entrepreneurial goals.
Forty years ago, it was safe to say that this was a man’s world. Now, women have turned the tables and have indeed become an equal entity in what will be known as a movement called, a “Woman’s Nation.”