The statement that increasing women’s participation and leadership implies a more egalitarian future is certainly true. It is well established that gender inequality persists, both in the workplace and in politics, which leads to unequal outcomes for women. However, there are numerous steps that can be taken at various institutions–workplace/labor force, government/political involvement, and education–that may help reduce this persistent gap between men and women.
In the workplace and labor force, there are many challenges faced by women who wish to participate fully in their careers. A major issue is the lack of paid leave for mothers or caregivers; this lack of support often forces families to make difficult decisions about childcare responsibilities or career advancement opportunities. Additionally, despite advances made towards closing the wage gap over the past few decades (e.g., Title VII of The Civil Rights Act), there remains a “motherhood wage penalty” where working mothers tend to earn less than those without children—self-reported data from 2019 found that working moms in full-time jobs earned 79 cents per dollar earned by fathers with similar credentials. Moreover, childcare costs remain high; according to Care Index (2020) average cost of daycare ranges from $150 – $1700 per month depending on location , making it hard for some parents to afford quality care while they work. Finally, since majority of occupations held by women are concentrated in care industries such as healthcare or social assistance–jobs which typically involve long hours with no flexibility–women may find themselves struggling between their career goals and family commitments .