PAUSING AND THE VALUE OF VOLUNTEERISM
I hear it again and again. A stay-at-home mom decides to volunteer at her kid’s school and soon discovers that the other stay-at-home moms she’s volunteering with have MBAs, PhDs, law degrees, and so on. One woman I spoke to said she was astonished to learn that one of her co-PTA volunteers worked at the White House, another had had a byline for The New York Times, and another worked for years on the bond-trading desk at Goldman Sachs. Yep, you don’t have to go very far at your local PTA to discover a wealth of well-educated, unpaid talent.
At&T Careers Work From Home Photo Gallery
In fact, 46 percent of mothers with children under the age of eighteen volunteer in school settings.106 But their human capital is not counted when we consider the economic inputs that drive education in this country. In 2014 alone, women donated 4.5 billion hours of unpaid time to causes and issues they care about. How much was their unpaid effort worth? An estimated $103.8 billion.107
Would these hours have been donated if every woman worked all of the time? Of course not. We already struggle to “do it all.” How could we possibly work full-time, care for our families, and still volunteer 4.5 billion hours each year? We don’t like to admit it, but our schools and our communities rely on the unpaid human capital of stay-at-home moms.
No wonder these women bristle at the notion that their “work” is not worth anything. As one Women on the Rise respondent shared,
Part of me laments that I am part of a cohort of highly educated women/moms who must engage in our schools and communities because society has de-funded education and de-funded social services for the poor, etc. How I WISH WISH WISH that society could see that the contributions women make in communities has a VALUE. Can you imagine men “giving away” their time like this on such a mass scale for years and years? It wouldn’t happen!
While we argue that we need women to be in the workforce to increase our GDP, if we actually counted the totality of women’s work, we may not be so eager to have them rush back in. We need women’s labor in all its forms for our society to flourish. It’s time to start counting that labor whether it’s paid or not.
Maybe You Like Them Too
- Best Exercise For Pregnant Women
- Prom Hair And Makeup Ideas
- Fast Easy Weight Loss Tips
- Best Exercises When Pregnant
- 10+ Bride Makeup Ideas