Having it all

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The topic for today is “working women”.

Task 1

Read the text below to get the general idea:

Working women are no longer a phenomenon in contemporary societies. Everywhere we can see both successful businesswomen and satisfied mothers, who are able to combine very demanding professional life with quite absorbing private life. Women have proven repeatedly that they are capable of working and having families at the same time. 68% of them say that their jobs rarely or never interfere with their personal life. They run both profitable companies and happy homes. They enjoy top rank occupations, long-term careers and high socio-economic status.

Modern women at present are not only well-qualified but they also earn good salaries. They are no longer financially dependent on their husbands or life partners, although their wages usually remain lower than those of men on similar positions. In spite of unequal remuneration for the same job, women have to face other barriers such as the glass ceiling or the ideal worker norm. The first term applies to their limited advancement in a profession, but the second one reflects gender inequality. By definition, the ideal worker works at least 40 hours a week all year round, is always available and has no outside responsibilities. In case of working women who are still expected to fulfill the caretaker role and take time off for domestic or household needs, the model remains only the mere theory. In practice it does not simply work.

Maybe, that is why some women have decided to adapt the idea of flexi-time. It is said that nowadays around 30% of female workers in America do not have regular working hours in comparison to only 11% in 1984. Advancement of technology has made it possible and much easier for women to work from home, for instance, instead of having fixed nine-to-five office hours.

Despite external obstacles and social discrepancies between working males and females, contemporary women have managed to find a suitable solution to meet both the needs of working and personal life.

Task 2

Study the vocabulary carefully and gap-fill the sentences below with correct words from the text:

1.    Do you have any …………………. children? I mean any kids that you still have to support financially?
2.   …………………. (s) in science and technology have enabled working women to adjust to changing job markets.
3.    Working mothers tend to be more …………………. with children than men.
4.    The manager has found a few crucial …………………. (s) between the sales reports.
5.    Most working women do not let their personal lives …………………. with their jobs.
6.    A person who looks after other people, especially a teacher, a parent or a nurse is called a ………………….
7.    At present companies prefer to offer trial periods or short-term work contracts rather than ………………….-term contracts.
8.    In the 19th and the 20th centuries women were largely limited to poor …………………. occupations.
9.    Women workers still have to deal with …………………. job opportunities.
10.    Many employees belong to pension schemes …………………. by their employers.

Task 3

Watch the video Ivanka Trump on work-life balance and choose the best ending (a or b) to sentence beginnings:

1.    According to Ivanka Trump ‘balance’ by its nature is:
a)    something very long-lasting.
b)    something not very durable.

2.    Ivanka Trump believes that:
a)    life is mostly about managing priorities.
b)    life is mostly about managing work.

3.    The website was launched by I. Trump in order to:
a)    make her accessories brand popular.
b)    explore the idea of a ‘working woman’.

4.    People rarely refer to men as:
a)    working men.
b)    hard-working men.

5.    The media tend to depict women:
a)    only in one dimension.
b)    always in many dimensions.

6.    In reality, women work:
a)    much less than men in their lives.
b)    much harder than men in all aspects of life.

7.    Ivanka Trump believes that, the new woman:
a)    is able to work and have passions outside work.
b)    is unable to link personal with professional life.

8.    Ivanka Trump:
a)    wants to tell people how to live their lives.
b)    doesn’t want to instruct people on their lives.

9.    Ivanka Trump compares people to:
a)    archetypes of life.
b)    architects of their lives.

10.    According to Ivanka Trump:
a)    people have different life priorities.
b)    people share the same life priorities.


Task 2

1. dependent
2. advancements
3. demanding
4. discrepancies
5. interfere
6. caretaker
7. fixed
8. status
9. unequal
10. run

Task 3

1. b
2. a
3. b
4. a
5. a
6. b
7. a
8. b
9. b
10. a