I am sharing what I consider some salient contributions to the discussion on working women and working mothers in 2013. This year was indeed a fantastic year in terms of progress in bringing light to these issues. In case you were too busy working and sleeping, here is my list of notable reads in 2013, and my commentary.
Description: Notwithstanding the many gender biases that still operate all over the workplace, excuses and justifications won’t get women anywhere. Instead, believe in yourself, give it your all, “lean in” and “don’t leave before you leave” — which is to say, don’t doubt your ability to combine work and family.
My comments: I have been leaning all my life. This does not seem to be my problem. I am grateful for the attention to the issue because several changes are needed to better support working women in the vast majority of industries. Regardless of whether you read this book or the Wikipedia summary, you should definitely read this response.
Description: Weaving in research about the dysfunction between the careers and home lives of working mothers, as well as the consequences to women’s health, the author tells her story about “having it all,” failing miserably, and what comes after.
My comments: Suggested read only as prevention. You do not want to be this woman. Our responsibility is to avoid maxing out.
Description: Sorry, sorry, sorry. The article describes the myriad of sorrys that working moms must say. It is laden with a guilt that must be avoided at all costs.
My comments: Can't play victim anymore, thus saying sorry is actually not of much use to me. Instead clarify expectations and eliminate guilt.
Description: Discusses the identity shift involved in coming to see oneself, and to be seen by others, as a leader, with some good advice on how to implement this in the workplace.
My comments: I appreciate the insights and I am hoping to apply them at work
Description: A shift has occurred in mindset and now 75 percent of Americans agreed with the statement that “a working mother can establish just as warm and secure a relationship with her children as a mother who does not work.”
My comments: I appreciate the perspective of women who are now looking back. I think regret is a cancer, but I understand how each may have been better served by working.
Description: "After 50 years, shouldn’t we stop debating whether we want mothers to work and start implementing the social policies and working conditions that will allow families to take full advantage of the benefits of women’s employment and to minimize its stresses?"
My comments: Good perspective on the progress we are making. It seems slow, except when we look just a few decades ago.
Description: Paternity Leave makes men more involved at home, women more involved at work, and workplaces friendlier for all parents.
My comments: I am always a supporter for daddy/child time and exploring the depth of this incredible bond. There is so much that the non-mother provides that the mother cannot provide, and I rejoice in witnessing this beauty. Society tends to only look at it the other way.
Anything you would add?
Closing comments: We are on the right track. We are making progress. We are blazing trails.
I wish you all a very happy, balanced and joyful new year. Thank you for reading.