Thursday, May 15, 2008

Ask a Working Woman Survey 2008

In national elections, it can be frustrating to watch women being taken seriously only as a demographic while the issues that impact them are almost entirely ignored. Who "soccer moms" might support is discussed ad nauseam, but no time is spent discussing the policies that actually impact working mothers in this country - things like maternity leave, the challenge of finding an employer who will provide a flexible work schedule, fair pay, and health benefits for families. This is a challenge we are facing once again, as commentators and politicians alike discuss who women will support without mentioning the ways in which different candidates or parties will support - or fail to support - us. Our votes, it seems, are important. Our voices are not.

This is why the AFL-CIO and Working America have joined up to produce the Ask a Working Woman Survey 2008. As one reader, who wrote last night to encourage me to post on this survey, points out:
The survey is an opportunity for working women in America to tell decision-makers what it's like to be a working woman in America in election years....

Opinions will be collected through June 20, 2008. The findings will be announced to decision makers and released in nationwide media in order to highlight and help improve the status of the working mothers, daughters, sisters, grandmothers, aunts, cousins, and nieces in all of our American families...

In 2006, more than 22,000 working American women took the survey. The majority of those women said they were concerned most about fundamental economic issues like paying for health care, not having retirement security, and pay not keeping up with the cost of living--or with the pay of their male counterparts.

In this year of economic and political uncertainty, it is more important than ever to ensure that working women have a voice in the debate for the future of the American economy. We want to hear what working women need – health care, pension benefits, flex time – to make the juggling act that is working womanhood a little bit easier.

You can learn more about this survey and its sponsors at the AFL-CIO News Blog, or jot me a line and I'll send your questions along to our inside connections (yes, we are very important), and we'll post the responses here.

Happy survey taking!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I took the survey. Some of the questions are difficult to answer e.g. "Did you vote in the last election or like so many were unable to?" (or something like that) and the choices were yes or no. Several questions would have been better worded individually rather than trying to fit them into one. I am not a trained survey builder, but I think that if one wants valid information, the questions should be simple and asked in various formats for consistency, as well as having a space for "does not apply to me" or perhaps "what type of job are you in - public service, health care, business, etc." Many public service jobs have fixed steps for pay, but the benefits for males such as ease of employment, viewed as having more authority, etc. are factors in the workplace.

natalie said...

Also, they will probably get fewer responses than they would if they did not make women agree to receive emails from them before beginning the survey. I think that the AFL-CIO is great, and I'm sure that a lot of people won't mind getting updates - but others will not fill it out just out of fear of junk mail in the in-box.

La Pobre Habladora said...

Both excellent points! I have sent an email to our friends at Massey Media who have been working on this project, and hopefully we'll hear from them soon!

La Pobre Habladora said...

Oh - and in the meantime, if you have a question you'd like to see on the survey that didn't get included - leave it here in the comments!

Sarah said...

Thank you, anonymous, for your feedback. I will pass that up the chain = nothing worse than a confusing survey.
Except maybe spam, which is what natalie refers to in her post. Requesting email is two-fold, I think. One, it is to ensure that people don't take the survey multiple times. The statistics will be crunched by a well-known polling firm and treated as data points. The other reason for the email request, as I understand it, is to alert audiences to the survey results, which come in late June, and further information about women and economy.
THANK YOU for helpful feedback! - Sarah

La Pobre Habladora said...

Sarah - thanks for the speedy reply! I look forward to seeing the results in June!