When you think of a woman who has it all, the family and the career, there is so much more behind the scenes than most people realize.
Organization, coordination, the requirement of other people to fill in the gaps seamlessly, is all necessary. Having it all isn't easy, primarily for one reason.
It is, simply put, impossible to be in two places at once.
Women cannot be kicking ass and taking names 80 hours a week in boardrooms, and be wholly present for their families all the time. It's a physical impossibility.
The women who seem to balance it all, and I count a few of them as close friends of mine, who can stand tiptoed on the top of the scale, constantly shifting and adjusting, aren't just talented and smart and resourceful and flexible.
They're also lucky.
Some of them are geniuses.
A few of them have created their own work environments after learning the hard way that the conventional wisdom which dictates a firm line between work and home isn't often feasible once you have children.
Once kids enter the picture, most women want that flexibility. Need it. Crave it, like a deep maternal instinct wearing heels.
Society, for the most part, has started to evolve in ways that push towards that flexibility, although if we are being honest, it's easy to see how short the United States comes up in the maternity leave department, among other concessions to allow for families.
Telecommuting has become more and more popular, and often results in a more productive workforce than one chained to a desk all day. Job sharing has become more common. Some companies allow for flexible hours to allow not just mothers, but fathers, to leave work early for t-ball games and dance recitals.
These benefits haven't just helped women, they have helped everyone, even those people without children.
These benefits wouldn't have come, however, without women asking for them, demanding them, forgoing the inflexible male-dominated institutions and starting their own businesses.
The retraction of these benefits this week by the CEO of a large company rubbed me the wrong way immediately as a step in the wrong direction for all employees, but for women in particular.
New Yahoo CEO, Marissa Meyer, has banned employees from working from home. In the online world, which has been one of the most flexible industries in the nation, she wants all her employees in the building, all day.
The most confusing part of it all, aside from the obvious reputation the industry has for relaxed environments, is that Ms. Meyer herself is a new mother.
A new mother who was back at work less than two weeks after giving birth.
I obviously do not know Ms. Meyer personally, but I have to wonder why she is so insistent that every single employee of her company needs to give up all their flexibility just because she says so.
She may want to be in the office all the time, but why start requiring it from legitimately productive people accustomed to a flexible work environment?
Is she trying to justify the fact that she sees no need to be home with her own child, a fact that she was raked over the coals for in the media when it happened last year?
Is she unaware of the studies that have shown time and again that people are both happier and more productive if given the option to work from home at least occasionally?
Is she really a 70 year old man masquerading as a new mother?
Forgive me, but I can't figure it out.
I can't understand why anyone, particularly a woman with an infant, would decree from the mountaintops that having a work/life balance is unnecessary.
Why is this woman standing on the glass ceiling, telling other women that they may become successful under her leadership only if they are willing to forgo everything else in their lives for work?
Have women really come this far to be pushed back down by one of us?
She's not doing anyone any favors here, including herself. Soon to be leading a disgruntled workforce, she will face a lot of backlash from this decision. She may start having a mass exodus of good employees. This has been a hot topic in the media already for days.
Marissa, go home.
Kiss that baby.
Stop thinking like a CEO for a few minutes.
Think like a working mom instead.
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