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May 30, 2011

Comments

Such an empowering narrative - it's exciting!

Great post Whitney, and thanks for letting me know about it on facebook (I love to read your blog, but sometimes life gets busy). Carol is such a dynamic woman and I love what she is doing. Your description of the narrative at the conference puts the concept of re-entry into such a great light - and frames it in a way I had not yet considered. While I have no idea if I'll ever want to/need to "re-enter", it is important for me to be thinking about how what i'm doing now may help prepare me for employment in the future.

Whitney, I really enjoy your optimism and support. As the father of two daughters, I am overjoyed to see their intellectual potential growing with leaps and bounds with every passing year. But I must confess to feeling some discouragement based on my own experiences with not just corporate America but academia as well, where any perceived weakness is exploited by some manager or colleague who views others as variables to be controlled for at best, and pernicious obstacles at worst. Family is no exception. I have encountered this at, well, almost every post-MBA position I've had, and the larger the institution, the worse it was.

This is not a single-gender issue, either. I have seen for myself the cold lack of empathy in my employers' eyes when the subjects of family members, health, or house and home come up. Such concerns are seen as potential distractions from one's dedication to the company, for surely the employee is going to put such weighty matters ahead of mere "work." To keep such people with their "divided loyalties" around is simply not efficient.

I would like to be more hopeful, but until there is a bona fide cultural change of tectonic magnitude in the way our society views the work/life balance, I'm afraid standing room only meetings of qualified, talented and left-out workers will continue to be the norm.

Please cheer me up with some contraindications. I could use the boost in morale.

Eddie

Whitney -- I am so glad Good Enough Is the New Perfect resonated with you. I, too, was blown away by Carol Cohen's story and impressed by her work. Thank you for recommending our book!

Glad you featured these women! I went to an HBS alumnae event several years ago when these two women were presenting their book and their stories have stayed with me and given me a lot of hope--one has 4 kids and one has 5 kids, and both are HBS alumnae. Really cool!

Yehhh! I like the way our world is shifting!

Whitney,
You too are a role model for this! The more we tell our stories, the more they become the treads of mainstream culture. Thanks for continuing to provide a forum for thinking, writing, listening, and being heard!
Michelle

Love this post Whitney. This is a perfect reminder of the really important things in life like following your dreams for a very long time as well as remembering the dreamy day you read with your child in the backyard on Memorial Day.

So wonderful to read these comments! Thanks Whitney for a terrific post about our iRelaunch Conference. It was our privilege to have you in attendance. I am also thrilled for Hollee and Becky and Good Enough is the New Perfect. They are great role models for all of us! Carol

I'm certain that many women successfully re-enter the workforce in some fashion - either employed at a company or by starting their own ventures. For me, however, the thought of leaving my profession, even if I had a partner to pay my bills, shelter and feed me, leaves me feeling incredibly financially vulnerable. How do the married women who do not work for an income handle these feelings?

Janna - the time with my kids is worth the financial vulnerability. That, and controlling the savings, budget, bills, and keeping my professional skills up-to-date, is how I handle it.

Whitney - I'm downloading this book today. Thanks! (Wish I could have gone to the conference.)

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About this blog

  • When I took a sabbatical from Wall Street to pursue a different dream and help others live theirs, I learned that women in the U.S. may be placated, even pampered, but because we aren't dreaming, we are also desperate and depressed. Drawing on a variety of sources, ranging from academic studies to pop culture, dare to dream encourages us to dream. And then to act on our dreams.

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