Happy working women balance job and life
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.”