Almost 15 million women work in France today, compared to 10 million 40 years ago.
This quantitative evolution is also social. It is middle-class and upper middle-class women who have massively entered the labour market over the last forty years: today, 2.2 million women are managers or equivalent, compared to 500,000 in 1982 in France. They account for 40% of managers and higher intellectual professions. A radically new situation: it is only since the beginning of the 21st century that it can be said that most couples work, whatever their background, and in the majority of cases as employees in organisations outside the family.
We have certainly not, collectively, measured enough the extent to which bi-activity in couples has now become the norm, and the extent to which it constitutes a revolution: in 2020, we reached 80% of bi-active couples! In 2012, the activity rate of women with a degree higher than Bac + 2 was over 90%. The share of women in the working population is now close to 50%.
One fact, however, remains unchanged: there are still 24 hours a day... to absorb all the individual, family and social responsibilities, inside and outside home. There is thus a compression of time, which we all experience, where the mental burdens of the professional and private spheres follow one another, which leads to conflicting schedules, not only between one’s own different schedules, but also between people, especially within couples.
In a very general way, these elements highlight very concretely the temporal tensions in which the issue of equality between women and men is embedded, and in which the most intimate balances of today's men and women have to be adjusted.
Happy Men Share More offers 3 complementary insights to understand these tensions:
- We will first discuss the general and unprecedented context of social acceleration which is profoundly transforming our ways of thinking and acting.
- At the heart of this permanent trepidation, we will talk about the challenge of an ecology of time for men, women ... and couples
- Finally, we will see how the company's responsibility is engaged to bring about working methods that allow today's men and women to fulfil themselves professionally while respecting their essential private life issues: this is a key element, perhaps the most essential, of the Quality of Life at Work.