February 3, 2009

Are Women Better Positioned for Success in These Hard Times?

A recent New York Times article contends that "men base their sense of self on the maxim that ‘I have worth because of what I do.’" As a result, these tough economic times in which there are mass layoffs have taken their psychological toll on men. In fact, there has been a marked increase among men in the treatment of anxiety disorders and depression as a result of the crisis.

On the flipside, women have been more resilient through the downturns. Research suggests that this is because women base their self worth more on other values like relationships rather than what they do as a career. You might think this is a great thing on the surface. However, the article goes on to say the following:

"YET while men may appear to reel more socially and psychologically from job loss, they fare far better when it comes to re-employment.

In a 2002 study, two sociology professors at Wichita State University, Charles S. Koeber and David W. Wright, found that women who were laid off and went on to look for another job were re-employed less often than men in the same position. This was especially the case if the women were married, had previously held a part-time job or had worked in something other than a highly skilled, white-collar job.

The implication, Professor Koeber says, is that women have more of a burden than men to show their commitment to a job after a layoff."
To be honest, I was completely annoyed with the sobering reality proposed by these research findings. Despite our ability to better handle the stress of the working world and build relationships, women still face an uphill battle in getting re-employed. This is particularly scary for married women. So just how do we prove our value and commitment to potential employers? More on this soon. In the meantime, I'd like to hear any opinions related to this article.

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