Archives for women

Girl power = human power!

I was proud to be a woman last Friday at the PA Governor’s Conference for Women. My junior writer and I were there critiquing résumés in the afternoon, but were invited to attend the rest of the day’s events, which included keynotes from Madeleine Albright and Hillary Rodham Clinton. If you weren’t one of the 7,000 in attendance, please benefit from my attendance and the powerful words that made an impression on me. My phone died in the middle of the day, so I did not tweet everyone’s excerpts, but I am including the images from my Twitter account (@epiccareering, which you should follow!) and copying and pasting the rest. One speaker did not want her quotes tweeted, but she didn’t say anything about blogging 🙂

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@JudgeGHatchett #pennwomen when you get torn pages in life’s books, write your own story- the world needs it!

@AmandaSteinberg on Work/Life integration

Shake things up. Be creative about how you structure your life. Abandon fear of what the world will think of you.

 

Blood-shot eyes = the way leadership looks sometimes.

 

It’s okay that men can work as hard as they need to work to be as successful as they can be, but it’s not okay for women to do the same. There is still extreme gender bias to work through in this area.

 

Advice to millenials – Figure out a skill that you can teach yourself to make yourself marketable. This way, you have the financial power to say “no” and dictate your own terms to your life.

 

Linda Cliatt-Waymen, Principal of Strawberry Mansion High School:

 

Children do not choose the families and communities in which they are born, but they are US citizens, and that gives them the right to a productive life and a quality education. Women of clout have power, influence to inspire all of us to make an investment in education.

“Greatness is determined by service.” ~ MLK

 

 

 

Work-Life Balance? 5 Questions to Ask Yourself…and Answer Honestly!

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Are you tired of working too many long hours? Do you feel occasional pangs of guilt that you “should be” spending more time with your loved ones? Or working out and staying fit? Or engaging in your hobbies and passions? Or keeping up with the stacks of unread books and magazines? Or just going out and having more fun?  

You’re not alone. For women with a successful career track record, a yearning for “work-life balance” is high on the list of desires. If you find yourself in this situation, ask yourself these 5 questions … and be completely honest with yourself as you answer them:

    1. How often is the “should” word coming up in your thoughts and feelings of guilt? The word “should” is a big clue that you’re feeling external pressures from family, friends, and society. It means you’re not feeling like you’re totally empowered to make your own choices. Assume you ARE empowered to make your own choices. Then ask yourself how would you spend your time, if you had it YOUR way?
    2. Do you worry that you would be perceived as not being committed enough to your job if you went home before 6pm? Many women over-work to over-compensate for lack of self-esteem/self-confidence. Sheryl Sandburg said in her best selling book “Lean In”: “ Slowly, it began to dawn on me that my job did not really require that I spend 12 full hours a day in the office. I had believed that others were demanding this of me … but in truth I was torturing myself.” Unfortunately, the traditional practice of judging employees and promotability by face time rather than results still persists in most companies. But ask yourself if the promotable men in your office are working as many hours as you are. If they’re not, then why are you?
    3. Are you spending all your time at work because your home life isn’t very satisfying? Or because you have no one to come home to? Or because you’re avoiding certain people in your life? Many of us, especially women who are going through a rocky transition in their personal life such as divorce, separation, or an unsatisfying marriage ALSO have a tendency to bury themselves in their work as an “escape”. Of course that’s a trap because if spend all our time working, how can we ever hope to “have a life” and develop new relationships? Could you be a more interesting, multi-dimensional person if you spend time on a variety of activities and passions, and not just work?
    4. Is it difficult to say “No” to people who request your help or your time? Many women have difficulty saying “No” because they need to be liked, and don’t want to turn people away. Take a close look at how you spend your time. Are you focusing most of your time on truly important activities? What activities can you let go of? Stop feeling guilty. Learn to say “No” very tactfully, and with a smile. It’s time to set clearer boundaries so that you don’t get drained of your precious energy. And once you set your boundaries and communicate them to the people in your life, then stick by them.
    5. Are you trying to do everything yourself?  Have you tried delegating tasks to other people … and given up because they didn’t meet your expectations? Many of us are perfectionists. We have very high standards and we like to see things done our way. The problem is that if we insist on adhering to our standards, we end up doing everything ourselves. Effective delegation requires that the person to whom you are delegating have the right skills, experience, and motivation to succeed. This includes tasks at home as well as at your workplace. You may have to train them as well as communicate the expected outcomes and timeframes. But they need some freedom to do the task the best way THEY think it should be done, which might be different than how YOU would do it. Let them do it. Done is better than perfect, isn’t it?

The best way to achieve work/life balance and make room for both life and career is to make deliberate choices, set your limits and stick by them. Do the best with what you’ve got, make the best choices you can … and accept them. You’ll have peace of mind and a lot less stress.

Do you agree? I’d love to get your comments below.

Keiko

– See more at: http://wingsforwomen.net/blog/#sthash.CGya4osX.dpufs

Can women still be considered a minority?

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While looking into business grants recently, I was asked, “Why are women a minority?” My answer was that it is “obviously” not based on demographic disadvantage, but attitudinal. Since the feminist movement, women have made great strides in professional equality. Their salaries are becoming more comparable. Their management opportunities are becoming more comparable.  Their educational levels are more comparable.

Regardless, speaking as the youngest daughter with two much older big brothers, I was not taught that the world is my oyster. The main message that I took from Catholic grade school was to be meek and humble. I took this to heart when people teased me. My brothers were encouraging me to fight back, but that seemed like something boys do; a good little girl should just absorb it, it seemed, or ignore it, which a sensitive girl just can’t seem to do. It seems that a major component of my professional and personal growth through the years actually depends on UNLEARNING to be meek and humble, and yet still accept myself as a “good girl.”

As a teenager I really related to the No Doubt song “Just A Girl.” My brothers were given many more freedoms. They easily found jobs at 14. With work permit in hand, I applied to practically every food vendor in the mall. I finally was given a job (through my network, even though I would’ve told you that I didn’t have one) at Orange Julius at just shy of 16. Sure, I’d done babysitting, but only while my uncle was home. To be honest, I really didn’t know how to entertain kids; it wasn’t my talent, but it was the only work available to me. Even neighborhood raking and shoveling went to the strapping teenage boys.

Gabby Reese is out there promoting/defending her book, My Foot is Too Big for the Glass Slipper: A Guide to the Less than Perfect Life, in which she admits that, though she is a strong female, the best way to make her household and marriage run smoothly is to assume the submissive role. Meanwhile, Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg, points out in her book, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead, that these gender role stereotypes and adopted self-images are what keep women out of the board room and C-level positions.

15-20% of companies have women in C-level positions.

This is the major reason that women remain a minority business owner. Now, the best we can do for each other is to help one another reach for BIG goals, rather than settling for what we can squeeze out of our career with all of our other responsibilities. If you have ideas on how we can do this, please share a comment. In the meantime, I will be following more women on how to have it all and, as usual, I will keep you apprised of what I learn.

UNVEIL YOUR BRILLIANCE!