1994 Working Women Count Report Women’s Bureau

working women count report

Information Borrowed from ERIC Database Description:

“The Women’s Bureau enlisted more than 1,600 partners to distribute a questionnaire asking women about their lives as workers. The partners included the following: more than 300 businesses, 900 grassroots organizations, 75 unions, daily newspapers, national magazines, and federal agencies in all 50 states, the Virgin Islands, Guam, and Puerto Rico. In addition, a telephone survey was conducted with a scientifically selected, national random sample. Findings indicated women felt pride and satisfaction at being breadwinners for their families and a significant part of the work force. A powerful consensus emerged on the following issues: pay benefits should provide economic security; workplace culture should support and respect families; and opportunity should reflect the value of women’s work. Respondents were distressed that their work at home and on the job continued to be devalued, and they were frustrated with the visible and invisible signs of inequality. They were concerned about incidents of discrimination. The following issues and concerns were shared by working women: health and pension benefits, inadequate vacation and sick leave benefits, stress as the number one problem, little or no ability to advance, loss of a job or promotion on the basis of gender or race, high priority to getting paid leave to care for children or relatives, affordable child care, and improving pay scales.”

As the report suggests, borrowing from then First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, it is “not your run of the mill” survey and looked to survey major shifts in occupational experiences for women in The United States. Among the endeavors which were pursued during this survey was a push for more on-the-job training with a desire for a rise in responsibilities in their respective work forces. Another key component was a desire by the women surveyed to receive support from their employers for family related undertakings. One of the more elucidating comments comes in the conclusion however, particularly as it highlights issues related to male coworkers:

Many of the problems women shared with us are also issues for working men. While some of the obstacles respondents wrote about stem from discrimination, others reflect the trend toward a workforce anxious about job insecurity, declining benefits, and stagnant wage. The stresses of working families affect all family members and, likewise, the remedies stand to benefit all.

This survey marked a dramatic shift in the rhetoric surrounding women’s rights in the American workforce. The survey and its sources remain in the public domain and are free to download at the link below, or elsewhere:

Working Women Count A Report To The Nation

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