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January 30, 2007


Hi Whitney,

Excellent post and point. I was nicely climbing the career ladder, and upon having my son, was shocked to find out how hard the "having it all dream" really becomes. I thought you might like to know about a new group forming up here in Minnesota, called Mother Venture. The founder Heather has taken the concept of business networking to a new level, and in less than six months there are 14 chapters in the Minneapolis area. She is also training others to host their own groups and hopes to bring the concept nationwide. I gravitated towards this idea because it fits something I have been looking for (oh, and they also have a cafe with free daycare and wireless Internet - genius.)

Dear Whitney,

Though by definition systergy might exclude me to some extent, I hope it won't prevent me from commenting positively on the benefits of gathering like-minded individuals. From music and arts endeavours in the past, I have experienced many occasions when a group of individuals transcended the original reason for being brought together and achieved something truly unique, truly spectacular in both artistic value and in the way learning and growth was created for the participants.

Occasionally, I will see some piece of scientific research showing that the attributes that make great team members - nurturing, sharing, honesty, fairness, etc. - are intrinsic to the female gender. Unfortunately, there is also research to demonstrate that women in my field (academia) encounter not glass ceilings, but glass walls. Women receive tenure less often, and then after longer periods of time because they do not have the same social contacts with their predominantly male colleagues as male academics do. This leads to less collaboration, less familiarity of the work of women, and, because of this, more difficult barriers when being considered for tenure track positions.

As a father of two daughters and no sons, I am acutely aware of my own desire for the two of them to have a completely open field of spiritual and career options from which to choose as they grow older. If they do, it will most likely be because women like you have made the efforts to gather the thoughts and participation of a systergy that will tout the benefits of group learning and support, as opposed to organizing out of fear or anger in opposition to some similar group that chooses to exercise whatever authority or power they have attained in the pursuit of hindering others and keeping the spoils for themselves.


Eddie Carr

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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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