“When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another.” – Helen Keller

Much has been written and continues to be written about the unique challenges women face in the workplace. To be honest, I am not sure why it is so difficult for women to do well at work. I suspect that some of the reasons are due to the traditional roles and expectations of women. We have always been expected to be the homemakers; ergo, it is our place to stay at home and look after our children while our husbands go out to work and bring in the family income.

The post-modern world and women

The fact of the matter is that the world has changed. It is now accepted that women can be as good as, if not better at their jobs than their male counterparts. Women are allowed to finish school and read for college and university degrees. They are no longer expected to support their husbands from behind the scenes. In every sense, women are seen as equal to men; therefore, they should be just as successful in the workplace.

However, research has shown that women face unique challenges at work, and these problems often prevent them from reaching their potential. The Thomson Reuters Foundation, supported by the Rockefeller Foundation embarked on a study to determine the challenges women face in the workplace.

According to the results and the statistics that “track the number of women working, their educational qualifications and salaries... the data does not tell us the whole picture. It doesn't tell us how women feel, and how they fare day-to-day in the workplace." Therefore, what are the challenges women face at work and how to overcome them?

Making the workplace easier for women to thrive

In order to answer the above question, let’s look at a couple of the problems and possible solutions to them:

Wages are different according to gender

Many women get paid less than their male counterparts for the same job. I believe that it is important to ensure that everyone is paid equally for the same jobs. In actual fact, it is difficult to determine exactly who gets paid what because salaries are generally not made public. Therefore, one of the ways to make sure that people are equally paid according to the work they do and not their gender.

Careers and children

Even though it is stated in theory that working mothers are not disadvantaged in the workplace. The fact of the matter is that taking maternity leave has the potential to harm their careers. In order to go back to work fairly soon after the birth of their children, most mothers find themselves in a situation where they need to employ a nanny.

Unfortunately, this is not a cost-effective solution; thus, forcing women to stay at home to care for their children. A solution to this problem would be for companies to allow women to work from home so that they can work and care for their babies. Another option is for business owners to set up in-house daycare centres where their employees can leave their children during the day.

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