Parents & Promotions

A study featured in Knowlege@Wharton shows that motherhood might affect how much you are paid and how much slack your employer cuts you at work.  Where as motherhood seems to negatively affect women’s pay, fatherhood positively affects men’s pay.  One of their theories was that single women are dedicated to their careers, mothers might be late more often, but fatherhood might settle men down.  (Single women were given more pay than single men.)

Interestingly, the students ranked women without children as the most qualified on several measures, giving them the highest scores for commitment, competence and likelihood of promotion. Even so, childless women weren’t offered the highest starting salaries. Those went to fathers, who also were rated as most likely to be promoted. Childless men didn’t fare as well. They beat mothers on most measures but fell behind childless women on every measure but one. Maybe the raters assumed they would spend too many nights out carousing.

If you are interested in reading the whole article, here it is:  Two New Studies Look at Mothers — and Smokers — in the Workplace – Knowledge@Wharton.

Emergency Vet Clinic Again! Wasps and Dogs

Last night on our way out the door to dinner, our 5 year old picked up one of the patio chairs and said "Look at me!  I’m strong!"  Then he dropped it and a flood of wasps swarmed up from the underside.  We got him away safely and went to dinner thinking we’d take care of the nest after dark when the wasps were sleeping. 

Well, Teddy, my 75 pound dog, decided to investigate.  Whether it was to greet them or eat them, I don’t know.  I am sure she tried to lick them, because her face was all swollen!  She could barely open one of her eyes.  So I called the emergency vet clinic for the third time this month and they told me 1 mg of benadryl per pound of dog and to watch to make sure that her airway didn’t swell up.  So I gave her three little pink pills and lots of hugs.

Today she’s fine.  I’m glad she recovers so quickly!

Where Have All The Women Gone?

I don’t know why, but most of my female friends leave their high tech jobs in their 30s.  Most of them do not leave to spend more time with their children, as the predominate urban legend goes.  Why do they leave?  I don’t think women are more fed up then men, I think women are more able to leave a field.  Men might change jobs, but women are more likely to feel empowered to quit altogether, quit a job, quit a career, or leave for a lower paying job.  Men, I think, have a much harder time quitting.

This article, Where Have All The Women Gone?,
says we are spending too much money trying to bring in talent to the
country and worrying about women entering into technical fields when they should
be worrying about why women leave technical fields.   

I think we should focus our efforts on changing IT jobs not on getting women to stay in unpleasant jobs.

Making Yourself Work

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about why we work (other than the obvious – making money) and how you can figure out what you would be happiest doing.  Assuming you have to work because you aren’t independently wealthy, what should you do?  What would make you happiest?  What job would make you want to get out of bed and get to work as soon as possible? So far, theories run from whatever will make you the most money (like the philosophy in Die Broke) to doing the work you love the most. So if you like playing softball, getting as close to softball as you can – maybe coaching it.

Curious, I started thinking about careers and why people do them.  Take a career that’s not usually imposed on someone, say writing.  Writers, especially fiction book writers, usually write because they want to.  Nobody forces them to write, nobody asks them to write and nobody hires them to write.  And they only get paid if they are successful. So why do they do it? Do they love the result or the process?  I’d argue that they love the result because the common urban legend is the writer’s suffer a lot of writer’s block.  This article, 50 Strategies for Making Yourself Work, also implies that writer’s force themselves to write.  So if people choose a profession that is hard, yet you have to assume they are satisfied, because at any point they could give up writing and go work at the local bookstore for probably more money, why do they do it?

  • Is it the hopes of reward?  Do they write because they think they are going to win the lottery, i.e. write a bestseller?  Writing a bestseller is a lot more work than buying a lottery ticket!
  • If we assume it’s to sell a bestseller, is it the money?
  • Or the fame?
  • Or is it something completely different like the satisfaction of seeing a book in print? This might explain the sucess of the self publishing business.
  • Or do they have a burning idea they have to share?
  • Or have they run out of books in their favorite genre and they want to contribute more?
  • Or do they think they can write a better book than anybody else?
  • Or do they have a burning point to make?  (Different concept than the burning idea to share!)

Whatever it is, I think understanding why writers write might give me more insight into how to find the career that is most fulfilling.

Authors’ Blogs

The New York Times has an article today about authors who blog.  They were all very interesting and one thing is for sure.  Authors use their blogs as uniquely as they write their books.  Some were diaries, some shared book ideas, some shared book characters.  The book part of the blog seemed to work best for nonfiction topics where the author was posting ideas or facts and getting feedback, ideas, and pointers to sources.

The New York Times > Technology > Dear Blog: Today I Worked on My Book.