Fall 2007: What If
When you look at the numbers, there just aren’t enough women in top corporate positions to mentor other women toward reaching those same positions. So, who is really going to make gender equity a reality? The answer: Men.
Money is power. Men know this. Women try to ignore it. We focus more on “doing good” than “doing well” — but they aren’t mutually exclusive. Money in the form of income, perks, and benefits, isn’t the be all and end all, but it does allow you to live your life free from concerns about money.
If there was a new Girl’s Network in place in companies, all things would be different – including the business strategy, growth opportunities, employee engagement, and communities…not just for women, but for men as well. What is required for this to happen is for women to actually support other women.
Rather than talking about child care, we talk about early education and care. It is only in our minds that care and education are separate. Children need care in order to learn and they are learning from their experiences, wherever they are—with their families or childcare providers and teachers home-based settings, in preschools, Head Start, and centers.
So why should we care? And why should we take action?
Could you imagine the endless possibilities? Whether it’s using the time for a much-needed vacation or simply taking time off for mental health days, I can only imagine how this would boost productivity, morale, and an overall sense of freedom in the workplace. (That is, if we actually took the time that was given to us and detached – both physically and mentally – from the office.)
If more women explored positions in fields such as mine, they would reap the rewards that men have for years, and could use them as a spring board to upper management. Most companies in this space require their leaders to have some outside sales experience. Today, few women are at the top levels of manufacturing companies only because they do not have the outside sales experience required. Outside sales experience helps women have the vision to lead and to have a broad perspective on your customers and your competition.
Eldercare is complicated, which is one of the reasons it hasn’t yet been addressed successfully in our society or across the entire workforce. While aging is universal, every situation is unique and requires a different combination of resources and solutions. Caregivers need help to determine short-term and long-term care solutions, to handle the emotional aspects of caregiving and to manage their careers with options like flexible schedules, job sharing and part-time positions.
More than 20 years ago, Accenture recognized that, in order to recruit and retain first-class professionals, it needed to provide them with opportunities to balance their work and personal needs. I know, because I was the first woman to secure this valuable benefit in a pilot of what has become a formal program that offers flexible work arrangements (FWA).
When we talk about resources for women business owners, we are talking about more than dollars—we’re really talking about a community with internal and external supporters, access to working capital, and education and mentoring that catapult women into success.
Imagine walking into a workplace where co-workers ranging from 22-years-old to 60-years-old not only work easily side by side, but look to each other for advice and feedback. Would that not be utopia for every company?
Organizations that find a way to unite co-workers of all generations only stand to benefit in many ways, not the least of which is added profit to the bottom line. Unfortunately, this task is often challenging for many teams which are unsure how to handle generational diversity.