At the annual International Study Seminar on “Women and Work” earlier this month organized by the Pontifical Council for the Laity, a law professor at the University of St. Thomas had the honor of presenting her work.
Elizabeth Schiltz, law professor, Thomas J. Abood Research Scholar, and Co-Director of the Terrence J. Murphy Institute for Catholic Thought, Law and Public Policy, presented her essay “Motherhood: Benefit or Burden to Business?” to an audience of 100 experts on “issues such as gender stereotypes and reality, penalization of motherhood, and pay inequity, among others.”
In her essay, Shiltz makes an adept argument for having more mothers in the workforce. She notes:
- Businesses want women workers, and most women workers want to be mothers.
- Businesses benefit long term from the care-giving work of mothers, and should thus shoulder some of its cost.
- Accommodating motherhood is not, in fact, as much of a burden on businesses as is commonly though.
- Mothers offer some unique and valuable skills to the workplace.
For all of these reasons, Schiltz posits that creating a world order where women and mothers can more easily access and enjoy the workforce would be beneficial to all. Lucky for University of St. Thomas, Schiltz has made this an area of focus at the Murphy Institute!
How does your campus advocate for working mothers? Let us know!