Juanita Braud, 36, of Richmond, Calif., is a good advertisement for the U.S. Labor Department's Women's Bureau, an agency devoted exclusively to promoting employment and training opportunities for working women.
Braud, who began her government career as a secretary, has been named regional administrator of the Women's Bureau by bureau director Lenora Cole Alexander. Based in San Francisco, Braud will direct the bureau's activities in California, Arizona, Nevada and Hawaii and also in Guam, American Samoa, the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas.
Braud joined the Labor Department as a secretary in 1969 and was enrolled in a department upward mobility program that led to a professional position as a manpower development specialist. In 1980 she was named director of the Labor Department's regional Office of Civil Rights, the position she held until moving to the Women's Bureau.
The bureau will mark its 65th anniversary in June, and according to Alexander, priorities will include projects to provide training to middle-aged and minority women, the nation's most disadvantaged job seekers, and a career planning program for high school girls called Women in Nontraditional Careers.
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Young men and women were surprisingly alike in their views when asked to rate the importance of marriage and careers in a survey recently conducted among 400 economics students at Stanford.
Both men and women rated a happy marriage as more important than a successful career in attaining "the good life." On a 100-point scale, women rated success in marriage 90; men, 88. Asked to rank the importance of career success as part of the good life, women rated it 82; men, 81.
However, the slight difference in how much women and men valued marriage may be deceptive in that women rated it highly while at the same time they expected to carry most of the burdens of marriage. Both men and women said they expected that women would do about 65% of the housework and child care; 70% of the women and 10% of the men said they would expect to quit working outside the home for a few years when they had children under 5.
Victor Fuchs, the Stanford economics professor who conducted the survey, has found in separate research that the gap between the earnings of husbands and wives has increased in the last 25 years. In 1959 the average working wife earned 69% of the amount her husband earned. In 1979 her proportionate earnings were 62%. The gap increased even though in the same period the average number of hours women worked outside the home each year increased significantly. The only way some of the women approached the earnings of men was by working longer hours at their jobs.
This research, a statistical analysis of figures from the U.S. Census and the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research, also found that only a part of the earnings gap is attributable to children; women with three children earn only about 12% less than childless women. Nevertheless, if women were to be fully competitive with men in the labor market, the result would be either extremely low fertility or large numbers of children receiving inadequate care, Fuchs said, citing a Wall Street Journal study of women corporate executives that found that two-thirds of women executives under 40 were childless.
Among other findings about marriage and work revealed by the study was that among couples, the total number of hours worked each year on both paid jobs and at home was similar, but while men devote most of those working hours to their paid jobs, almost two-thirds of the women's total working hours involved the work of the home. Women worked three times as many hours at home as men.
The overall conclusion of the study was that women in 1979 had, relative to men, less access to goods, services and leisure than they had in 1959. However, Fuchs said this result "cannot be automatically translated into a conclusion that women were worse off. . . . Women may, for instance, have gained independence and autonomy during those two decades, and these gains may have been worth more to them than the loss of some goods and services or leisure."