Happy work­ing women bal­ance job and life

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By LI YANG in Shang­hai

More than 70 per­cent of work­ing women in a sur­vey said their hap­pi­ness orig­i­nates from a good bal­ance of ca­reer and fam­ily, a sharp re­ver­sal of a pre­vi­ous sur­vey in which re­spon­dents said their hap­pi­ness was based solely on a suc­cess­ful ca­reer.

The sur­vey of Pudong dis­trict gen­eral trade unions sam­pled thou­sands of women from 303 public in­sti­tu­tions and en­ter­prises in the dis­trict, and found more work­ing women said they can keep a good bal­ance be­tween a job and life.

The sur­vey re­vealed that 35.9 per­cent of work­ing women think ideal jobs are those with a flex­i­ble work sched­ule that en­sures them enough time to take care of their fam­i­lies.

A public re­la­tions direc­tor sur­named Lily, who works in a for­eign-funded com­pany in Pudong, said: “Although I do a good job, and have a de­cent salary, I barely have time to eat supper. When I reach home, my chil­dren and hus­band have al­ready fallen asleep. My hus­band usu­ally com­plains to me about my heavy work­load. I am not that healthy as be­fore. My life is not that good as many other think.”

She changed her work style, spend­ing more time with her fam­ily and go­ing to the gym to stay fit. She said she found her ef­fi­ciency at work was higher and life be­came hap­pier. “I learned the les­son that a job and ma­te­rial wealth will lose their mean­ing when the fam­ily life is not happy,” she said.

“The most un­com­fort­able thing is the boss does not cher­ish em­ploy­ees’ time,” said a for­mer bank clerk sur­named Li, who just quit her first job at a Pudong bank half a year af­ter grad­u­a­tion. “The boss al­ways held meet­ings af­ter work, or asked us to work dur­ing our rest time. It takes one hour for me to come to the bank from my res­i­dence. Work­ing on the week­end against my will drives me crazy,” she said.

“Work­ing in a bank is re­garded as a `golden col­lar’ job. But there is some­thing more im­por­tant than money in life. The em­ployer should re­spect em­ploy­ees. Pay­ing them money is only one way of re­spect for their work. But an ideal job is far more than that,” she said, adding that young peo­ple pay more at­ten­tion to their emo­tions when do­ing their jobs than their par­ents’ gen­er­a­tion, which ba­si­cally saw jobs as a means to make a living.

The sur­vey also showed that young work­ing women at­tach more im­por­tance to the re­al­iza­tion and the im­prove­ment of their own val­ues in jobs. More than 60 per­cent of the re­spon­dents said the big­gest mean­ing of a job is to re­al­ize one’s own value, pro­vid­ing a plat­form for self-im­prove­ment and con­tribut­ing to so­ci­ety.

The more ed­u­ca­tion a woman is, the more at­ten­tion she pays to the re­spect and self­fulfi that a job gives her, ac­cord­ing to the sur­vey. More than 50 per­cent of the sam­pled women whose ed­u­ca­tion is above the col­lege level look to a job for re­spect and self­fulfi and nearly 40 per­cent of women who grad­u­ated from mid­dle school and be­low re­gard their jobs as a means of mak­ing a living.

The sur­vey shows that women sac­ri­fice more time and en­ergy than men in bring­ing up chil­dren, and tak­ing care of a fam­ily.

“The women play an in­creas­ingly im­por­tant role in the coun­try. The sur­vey shows women long­ing to keep a bal­ance be­tween job and life, and they can do it,” said Wang Zhuo­jing, vice-direc­tor of of­fice of the trade union. “We need to do more to cre­ate the con­di­tions to help them main­tain the bal­ance, and con­tinue to strive for gen­der equal­ity and elim­i­nate gen­der dis­crim­i­na­tion in work­ing places.”

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