A recent survey conducted by the Prince George's County Commission for Women reveals that finances, family problems, unemployment and underemployment are the major concerns of women in the county.
Among the 630 women who responded to the survey, nearly half had incomes of $5,000 or less. When asked what kinds of rsources they needed most, they most frequently replied that they needed jobs and child care services.
The survey, reported to be the first of its kind conducted in Prince George's, reflects the growing movement of women into the job market.
"We've never had a data base for determining what the chief concerns and needs of women in the county were," said Susan Helfrich, executive director of the Commission for Women. "I guess you could call the survey results good news that confirms the bad news that we all thought was there -- namely that women are underpaid, underemployed and underutilized in the job market."
The women surveyed listed finances, family, employment, health and school respectively as their top five concerns.
The survey findings confirmed the existence of needs for financial help and jobs that the commission has already begun to develop programs to meet, according to Helfrich.
"We've conducted several workshops and seminars designed to help women determine what their skills are, how to go about looking for a job, how to prepare resumes and job applications, and how to interivew," she said.
The commission has sponsored several "career days" attended by employers from around the metropolitan area.
On Saturday, April 12, the commission will work jointly with two other groups to sponsor a workshop for women entering the job market for the first time. Two weeks later, on April 26, the commission and the Women's Action Coalition will sponsor Women's Fair '80 -- a forum that will feature discussion on a broad range of women's issues, including entry into the labor market.
Helfrich said that the only surprise in the survey findings was that domestic violence and child abuse were not mentioned as major concerns of respondents.
"I guess people just don't want to talk about these problems," said Helfrich. "But I can assure you, that doesn't make them any less of a problem."
She said that the commission may at some later date conduct additional surveys of the needs and concerns of the county's women.