The two headlines in today’s Wall Street Journal said it all. They brought out the history of women in the workforce in two short sentences. The first headline read “Recession Drives More Women to Work“. Below it, the second headline read “Returning Workers Face Big Pay Cuts“.
And so the cycle continues. Women flood into the workplace during times of hardship – like recessions, or wars. But they leave during the good times. We all know why they leave – we know about how women earn less than their male counterparts, about glass ceilings and lack of simple facilities like day-care in the workplace.
We have known these things for decades now and yet no one cares enough to fix these things and make women more welcome in the workplace. Those two headlines tell you exactly why.
Businesses have no incentive to attract women. In good times, they have enough workers and don’t need the women (except for achieving politically correct workforce percentages) and in bad times, the women will knock on their doors anyway (and even accept lower wages).
So the old boys club can continue its merry roll while shedding the occasional crocodile tear about the lack of women in business. They can even go on to blame the women themselves for not trying hard enough to have careers of their own.
Sadly, most men and even some women will believe them.