“You cannot raise your children as your parents raised you, because your parents raised you for a world that no longer exists.” —Mufti Meng
Wynn recently did something that is terribly significant. Most women know that it’s terribly significant, but I would argue that many men do not understand that reality. My effort here will be to mansplain it to the men in the crowd.
On August 28, Wynn announced it is launching a new program for employees with school-age children in partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of Southern Nevada. This program will offer professionally supervised virtual learning centers for the children of Wynn’s employees while public schools are closed.
This is a much bigger deal to women than men, in that women in the casino business are subjected to a variety of forms of systemic discrimination. In the same way that white supremacy led to systemic discrimination against blacks in the Deep South (and elsewhere), in the casino industry, male supremacy has led to systemic discrimination against women in gaming, and this can sometimes has to do with children.
Under normal times, families with two employed parents or single parents raising children deal with the work-life balance of children by utilizing a combination of the schools, childcare, family and after-school programs. In our new pandemic world, many of these options are unavailable or considered too high risk. The resulting burden of this loss often falls to the woman.
First of all, most single parents raising children are women. Secondly, many of the parental obligations of dealing with the day-to-day reality of the many details in a child’s life seem to fall to the mother. Moreover, it’s well understood that men and women have a material disparity in what they’re paid for similar work, and this leads to family strategies focused on solutions that result in the lesser-paid parent taking greater responsibility for the children.
In other words, the parent who’s paid the least is the logical choice to sacrifice employment opportunities to ensure the appropriate care for the children.
What the Wynn program means is that the single parent does not have to sacrifice a job to ensure his or her child is in a safe and enriching environment while the parent is at work. What the Wynn program means is that the lesser-paid parent doesn’t need to sacrifice his or her employment to ensure the children are in a safe place during the employee’s shift. These are big deals, and they are big deals because they help mitigate some of the career-limiting forces that hurt women much more than men.
The pandemic has been a struggle for most of the country. It’s clearly been more damaging to groups that have typically been the victims of systemic discrimination, and this certainly includes women. Wynn has taken a visionary step to mitigate a portion of the damage that the pandemic can inflict on women and this is an incredibly important step forward. Wynn clearly understands its workforce, and clearly cares about equity. Wynn also stands up for the fact that a woman or a man should not be placed in a position of having to choose to have a career or be parent. Because with the right help, they can be both. For this, Wynn should be applauded.
There, I mansplained it.