A woman’s nation
For the first time in our history, half of all U.S. workers are women. Mothers are the primary breadwinners or co-breadwinners in nearly two-thirds of American families.
And that changes everything.
Not just for women but also for men. For families. For bosses. For co-workers. For our society.
The battle of the sexes is over. Men and woman overwhelmingly agree on what they want in life, and how they view their roles in marriage, as parents, and in their jobs.
This is a permanent change in our culture. The trend line of women workers rises in the future because the jobs women are most likely to hold are expected to increase compared to men’s.
There’s far more occurring here than simply a change in workplace demographics. This is a social transformation affecting nearly every aspect of our lives – how we work, how we play and how we care for one another.
For more than one year, Maria Shriver and the Center for American Progress explored this transformation of the way Americans live and work. A transformation difficult to imagine a generation ago when Shriver’s uncle, President John F. Kennedy, created the first Commission on the Status of Women in 1961 and named Eleanor Roosevelt as its chair.
Roosevelt would be pleased – and proud -- to know that the footprint of today’s American worker is as likely to be a heel as a boot. And she would likely enthusiastically embrace the effect that sea change has had on America.
Included here is research by leading authorities on working families and the United States labor market, government, business, media and faith. The findings combine the work of academics, economists and pollsters with a collection of diverse essays from famous and less well-known Americans as well as on-the-ground reporting from around the country.
Among the findings, is what often happens in the face of sweeping change: Some of our institutions lag behind and don’t yet reflect this new dynamic. Government, business, the media and our faith communities, in many cases, still cling to outdated models of who works and who cares for our families.
For example, men now agree with women that government and business need to provide flexible work schedules, better childcare, family and medical leave and equal pay.
And over 80 percent of men and women agree businesses that fail to adapt to the needs of modern families risk losing good workers.
Only by examining this fundamental shift in how Americans live and do business -- and acknowledging the profound changes it has wrought -- can we grow and flourish.
Let the conversation begin.