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blogging on job and career lane change

What Would Gloria Do? #WWGD

The first MAKERS CONFERENCE was held in February, including a celebration of the life and work of Gloria Steinem. In honor of her eightieth birthday, it featured a video with touching and funny statements from Oprah, Ellen DeGeneres, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Katie Couric, and others about Steinem’s life’s work that, as Marlo Thomas summarized, “connected the dots between all women and created a sisterhood.” At the end, the screen displayed a simple hashtag, #WWGD, which stands for “What would Gloria do?”

What would Gloria do to resolve the unfinished business of the women’s movement she helped create? On the conference’s opening night she offered advice, in an interview with Jennifer Aniston. MAKERS began with an idea to create a documentary telling the story of Steinem’s life. But Steinem insisted the story of the women’s movement could not be told through the life of one woman; thus, the MAKERS project began, with a goal to collect women’s stories documenting the past 50 years of change.

Brigid Schulte is Overwhelmed – and So Are You! Part One

Author Brigid Schulte has a job, a house, a husband, several children, and a whole lot of stress.  She’s also just written a book, available online and at your favorite bookstore, called Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time, about how we’ve taken on way more than we can handle, what it’s doing to our lives and our families, and  how we can learn to live differently.  She graciously made time for my questions, both here and in my next post on this blog.

Do fathers and mothers experience overwhelm differently?

Let’s blog about women and retirement security

Women and Retirement Security Blog Roundup

Despite decades of social and economic gains, older American women are still twice as likely as elderly men to be living near or below the federal poverty line. Two-thirds of American women older than 65 have no retirement income other than Social Security and the average monthly Social Security benefit for women is around $1,000. 

Many factors contribute to this disparity, but unequal pay, retirement plan access, family obligations, and financial literacy are the main causes.

Addressing America’s looming retirement security crisis is a social and economic imperative for women and all working Americans.

This Women’s History Month, SEIU’s Retirement Security for All campaign is joining with other organizations to explore how we can make the American Dream of delivering retirement security to more working women a reality. You’re invited to talk about what this means for your organization, members or community through text, photos, video, reports, policy and personal stories.

Mater Mea: inside conversations on motherhood and working

Two years ago American media seemed to be gripped by one important question: “Can women have it all?”

As a young professional woman with aspirations of having an enviable career and a family of my own, I was incredibly invested in knowing the answer to that question. I had eagerly read former State Department director Anne-Marie Slaughter’s much-debated Atlantic article “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All” and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s roll-up-your-sleeves screed “Lean In,” expecting some insight into how to set myself up for a future that didn’t sacrifice career for becoming a mother and vice versa. And while I did find bits of wisdom in each career woman’s musings, there was one major thing I didn’t see in their stories: me.

You see, the recent media coverage of working motherhood has largely been lily white: From the stock images TV networks use for their coverage to the talking heads dissecting these think pieces, it was rare to see a woman of color discuss the unique career and lifestyle gymnastics it took for her to “have it all” in mainstream news outlets and websites.

Kids? What Kids? A Working Woman’s Bluff

At a recent business dinner, I was seated next to a woman who had founded  a venture-backed startup. Her company was about four years old, and had raised tens of millions of dollars.

I’m an editor-at-large for Inc and Inc.com. At Inc, we write about entrepreneurs, and about burnout. So I asked her, “We always hear that being an entrepreneur is a 24/7 endeavor. But you’ve been doing this for years, and no one can work all the time without burning out. What do you do to stay sane?”

“I don’t know,” she said. “It’s funny. You just find a way to keep going.”

At some point, I thought, everyone needs a break. Even people who claim they only need four hours’ sleep each night generally take big naps during the day. So I tried again. “Look,” I said. “If you ask me, I’ll tell you I work all the time. But the truth is it’s very hard to get me on the phone or on email between 5:30 and 8:30 on a weeknight. That’s when I see my kids. I’m back online by 9:00, but I don’t literally work all the time.”

“Well, I work an awful lot,” said my dinner companion. “There’s no other choice if you want to run a company like this.”

An Open Letter to the Employers of America

By Ann Quasarano, CTWorkingMoms.com Blogger

A good friend’s youngest son started Kindergarten this year.  She’s a stay-at-home mom and hasn’t worked outside the home since her oldest son, now 11, was born – unless you count organizing numerous PTO fundraisers, teaching Sunday school at her church, managing her family’s finances (including filing complicated income tax forms), and  balancing the countless aspects of being a mom.  She is bright, college educated, enthusiastic, computer literate, and hard-working – all the qualities employers look for when hiring a new employee.  And she can’t find a job.

Author of “Maxed Out” talks about why American moms are on the brink

A few months ago, I received a note from a longtime friend, Joan Blades (co-founder of MomsRising) introducing us to Katrina Alcorn. Joan thought we might support each others’ work, and it turns out that yes, supporting each others’ work was indeed a no brainer. I learned about the book Katrina was writing – Maxed Out: American Moms on the Brink – and it definitely sounded intriguing. After all, I’m an American Mom and before ROWE, I definitely would have described myself as being on the brink of many things…insanity being one of them.

When Opting Out Doesn’t Work, and Leaning In Makes You Nuts

Ten years ago, a group of high-powered women quit their jobs to stay home with their kids full-time. They got tons of media attention, including a segment on 60 Minutes.

Writer Judith Warner recently caught up with them in a cover story for The New York Times magazine. The story didn’t look at the happily-ever-afters — the women who are still pleased to be at home full-time. Perhaps there weren’t any, and at any rate, there’s not much drama there. Instead, the story focused on women who now wanted a full-time job and were unable to find one that suited them.

The story talked at length about the difficulties these women were having getting back into full-time work, including networks that had gone cold and the fact that not all volunteer work looks equally great on a resume.

Planning a Career Break? Make Sure It’s a Pause, Not a Dent

A decade ago, Lisa Belkin wrote “The Opt Out Revolution,” a New York Times Magazine piece that became instantly famous. It profiled women who had chosen to leave high-profile careers to stay home full-time, arguing that they had opted out because (to quote one) “women’s brains light up differently.” I subsequently wrote a report documenting that the print media in general, and The New York Times in particular, had been writing precisely this story since the 1970s, announcing over and over again that women had finally discovered that they wanted to stay home rather than work.

Member Voices: Sexism’s stamina is actually not so puzzling.

MomsRising member and blogger Dasa Kelly responds to a recent op/ed in the New York Times about the stamina of sexism in our culture. 

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