Big question is “Where is there?” or even better “Where is here”? How do we know when change has really taken hold? How do we know when we, as women, have found what we want in terms of equality at work?
First, some thoughts about change and how it happens. In our culture we have become so addicted to instant everything that we expect change at the drop of a hat. It just ain’t so. Mostly, we as women know that.
Babies don’t form to be born in the blink of an eye. Not only does the process average nine months, it is replete with changes almost on a daily level. From morning sickness to stretch marks to “enough already” thoughts the process has its own internal clock to follow. So does planting corn or roses or lavender.
Why then do we think that major changes will happen over night? If we check off the small wins and keep a long view we will have less stress and more determination and maybe, just maybe we also need to check the direction of our destination.
I gave deep thought to why there seems to be a sense of frustration that there are not more women in the C-Suite, that salaries are still unbalanced, that women in government do not reflect the national population averages.
Here is a book well worth the time “The Cult of Power” by political psychologist Martha Burk. One key idea that requires deeper dialogue concerns core corporate policies around work life balance for both genders.
Americans are working more now than any time in history and it is not healthy. Why don’t we spend more time with our families, with ourselves? What are we running toward (or possibly away from)?
What if we all gathered with one voice to make it clear that both men and women have families and that spending time with them without losing out at work is vital for ourselves personally and professionally?
This refocus is not just women’s work; it is the very foundation of our society. If we can partner with the men at work, really look at why we work, overwork ourselves into stress balls, and talk together about what really matters we can take all the great progress that women have made in the workplace to a whole new level.
The changes of the last 40 plus years have made a difference, now it is time to redirect our focus to change corporate policies at a male-female partnership level.