Joined: 11 May 2010
, given: 11
The labor force is often organized as if workers had no [#permalink]
27 Sep 2010, 07:28
The labor force is often organized as if workers had no family responsibilities. Preschool-age children need full-time care; children in primary school need care after school and during school vacations. Although day-care services can resolve some scheduling conflicts between home and office, workers cannot always find or afford suitable care. Even when they obtain such care, parents must still cope with emergencies, such as illnesses, that keep children at home. Moreover, children need more than tending; they also need meaningful time with their parents. Conventional full-time workdays, especially when combined with unavoidable household duties, are too inflexible for parents with primary child-care responsibility.
Although a small but increasing number of working men are single parents, those barriers against successful participation in the labor market that are related to primary child-care responsibilities mainly disadvantage women. Even in families where both parents work, cultural pressures are traditionally much greater on mothers than on fathers to bear the primary child-rearing responsibilities.
In reconciling child-rearing responsibilities with participation in the labor market, many working mothers are forced to make compromises. For example, approximately one-third of all working mothers are employed only part-time, even though part-time jobs are dramatically underpaid and often less desirable in comparison to full-time employment. Even though part-time work is usually available only in occupations offering minimal employee responsibility and little opportunity for advancement or self-enrichment, such employment does allow many women the time and flexibility to fulfill their family duties, but only at the expense of the advantages associated with full-time employment.
Moreover, even mothers with full-time employment must compromise opportunities in order to adjust to barriers against parents in the labor market. Many choose jobs entailing little challenge or responsibility or those offering flexible scheduling, often available only in poorly paid positions, while other working mothers, although willing and able to assume as much responsibility as people without children, find that their need to spend regular and predictable time with their children inevitably causes them to lose career opportunities to those without such demands. Thus, women in education are more likely to become teachers than school administrators, whose more conventional full-time work schedules do not correspond to the schedules of school-age children, while female lawyers are more likely to practice law in trusts and estates, where they can control their work schedules, than in litigation, where they cannot. Nonprofessional women are concentrated in secretarial work and department store sales, where their absences can be covered easily by substitutes and where they can enter and leave the work force with little loss, since the jobs offer so little personal gain. Indeed, as long as the labor market remains hostile to parents, and family roles continue to be allocated on the basis of gender, women will be seriously disadvantaged in that labor market.
6 . According to the passage, many working parents may be forced to make any of the following types of career decisions EXCEPT
(A) declining professional positions for nonprofessional ones, which typically have less conventional work schedules
(B) accepting part-time employment rather than full-time employment
(C) taking jobs with limited responsibility, and thus more limited career opportunities, in order to have a more flexible schedule
(D) pursuing career specializations that allow them to control their work schedules instead of pursuing a more desirable specialization in the same field
(E) limiting the career potential of one parent, often the mother, who assumes greater child-care responsibility
7. Which one of the following statements would most appropriately continue the discussion at the end of the passage?
(A) At the same time, most men will remain better able to enjoy the career and salary opportunities offered by the labor market.
(B) Of course, men who are married to working mothers know of these employment barriers but seem unwilling to do anything about them.
(C) On the other hand, salary levels may become more equitable between men and women even if the other career opportunities remain more accessible to men than to women.
(D) On the contrary, men with primary child-rearing responsibilities will continue to enjoy more advantages in the workplace than their female counterparts.
(E) Thus, institutions in society that favor men over women will continue to widen the gap between the career opportunities available for men and for women.
I pick E E, please help me explain these 2.