A blog worth reading
I find myself more and more involved with women and am loving it. I went to an all-girls college and in many ways had a visceral reaction to it instead of jumping in and embracing women. I could spend hours analyzing that but I won't. I believe I will find myself more involved than ever with women start-ups and women changing the work place in the next year….and I am really excited about it.
I had the pleasure of meeting with Tereza Nemessanyi this past year. Her blog is a worthwhile read as she is passionate on the topic of women and the workplace.
Here is a small piece of a post she just did just to whet the appetite. Click through to read the rest and then scroll down and read the rest of her posts. All her posts make for great conversations about the future of women in the workplace.
1. Corporate America, as a career path, is broken.
It never worked for women anyway. And it’s as broken as the funding
path for women-led venture-potential companies. It cannot be viewed as a
panacea vis-a-vis where women should go in lieu of entrepreneurship.
The rubber hits the road on this argument when you start looking at
professionals who become mothers. I’ve led strategic planning for a $6
billion company, spent 8 years directly in a massive company and worked
with dozens over 15 years. I was part of task forces at the highest
levels, seeking to get at the root cause of diversity issues — to
“change the ratio”. We did surveys and looked at tons of data.
We asked, for example:
Q: Why is it that we bring in 50% women just out of college, but
almost all drop out when getting ready to hit the executive level (at
appr. age 30)?
A: It’s the biological clock. The years when men are running up the
ladder, and even scale the glass ceiling, are our prime childbearing
My colleagues surveyed women who’d left, to learn what they were
doing now. Many left because they were pregnant. We assumed they were
staying home to take care of their kids full-time. It turns out this was
a HUGE fallacy. Most professional women get back to some sort of work.
In fact, as many as 75% of U.S. moms work.
Yet at the same time, there are almost no “on-ramps” for professional
women to return to corporate jobs after they’ve had kids. Especially
for the good jobs with career path potential. Those who do go Corporate
America, overwhelmingly take a demotion or a “support role” to get back
in the door. We learned a huge proportion re-entered by doing their
own thing, starting companies.
Parents seek some modicum of flexibility. Corporate America is, on
the whole, unable to provide it. Exceptions exist, but they are edge
cases and not available at any scale. Before I had kids, this
“flexibility” requirement rang hollow with me, I didn’t get it. Now
that I have two kids, it has so much more meaning. Every dad I know
gets it, too.
Our schools demand parent participation, our kids get sick,
parent/teacher conferences…being able to get something done that matters
to our kids, tucking them in, and getting back on line at 8pm until
2am. That’s the schedule of most startup parents I know. We put in all
the same hours, but at different times of day.