Today the New York Times has an article about a working mother whom the writer classifies as not “leaning in” but rather “hanging on.” Coveting Not a Corner Office But Time at Home, is an interesting article that echoes much of what I heard from women while writing my forthcoming book Mogul, Mom & Maid: The Balancing Act of the Modern Woman. Certainly I spoke with women who wanted to reach the corner office, but for every one of them, I met at least two who want rewarding careers and are willing to work hard – but not at the cost of family and balance.
It’s easy to characterize the choices working mothers are making as leaning in vs. leaning out, but the reality is much more layered. Most people facing a work environment that is often biased against them, a corporate culture that values face time over results, a home life with too little support, and a school system that operates on a different schedule than most offices, aren’t willing to sacrifice family for career – except for financial reasons, of course.
Corporate America should pay attention to women like the one in the Times article and the women in my book. Isn’t it easier to institute flex time and telecommuting policies than it is to replace talented workers? Don’t productivity and profits rise when employees are happy, stress-free and engaged? If businesses don’t shift to accommodate working mothers, and fathers, they run the risk of losing out on an incredible talent base.
Read the article here and let me what you think.
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