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November 05, 2012

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Joe Manzelli

Michelle,

This is why you were named powerful! Great insights and no BS. Cannot wait to share this with my wife & 5 daughters. I keep telling them that all they need to be successful in life is a belief in SELF! Keep the drive and passion because that is one special post.

Brian Falony

An excellent post Michelle. I think your point about a lack of diversity in thought within firms is spot on and a critical problem for many.

John

Great Post never thought of those issues. I have one daughter and I thinks this is worth her reading.

Edi Osborne

Michelle,

I wholeheartedly agree with your perspective. The bottom line on success and advancement, whether male or female, always comes down to individual strengths and our ability to work effectively with others. True power comes from empowering others!

Jordan Goudreau

A fantastic post! Thank you for speaking your mind. I look forward to sharing this with others.

jeffhupert

I respectfully disagree with your apparent position that we should ignore perceived different treatment of genders, although I believe the "problem" is not one restricted to the workplace. Either for societal, cultural or even (gasp) biological reasons, most women (at least the ones I know) feel more of a resposibility towards being active, present, and sort of "dependable" in terms of active parenting. Time spent parenting means less time available to focus on work. What this means is that we may want to give everyone more flexible arrangements, even if they are largely utilized by women.

My wife is a Math Professor; I'm a lawyer. I like to think we were (and still are) engaged parents. I have spent a lot of time with my kids, including taking a lot of time off work. However, there was never any question as to who was really the "primary caregiver" when the kids were younger. This attitude was not from our offices at all, and we did not really care much about societal attitudes as a whole. It was just easier psychologically for me to "not be there" in case of conflicts. My wife was aware of it at the time, and was far from thrilled.

I do not think our situation was unique, and I think you are sort of ignoring it. Please be aware that I do not think these differences between gnender in self perceived parenting responsibilities are "good" or even inevitable or are not changing as we speak. But they do exist, and I do not think they are going away anytime soon.

Michelle Golden

Thank you so much for all your comments. I'm deeply touched by the personal reflections this post is inspiring you and others to share!

@jeffhupert - I completely understand your personal feelings and choices about parental primary caregiving. But what does that have to do specifically and exclusively with women? Other families chose that dad is the primary caregiver. And in those cases, the same flexibility your wife seeks is sought by men.

As a mother of 4 and a mom for 28 years in a variety of economic situations, I've personally experienced being a single parent, a stay-home parent, a dual-income parent, a the working wife with a stay-at-home dad. In each of these situations, I had needs. But my needs as a working mother were no different than a man's needs as a working father. Who cares whether I'm female or male, the needs for understanding and flexibility are the same.

Linda@PI Professional Indemnity Insurance for Accountants

Really inspiring post Michelle thank you for sharing your experiences. It's definitely still a problem that there aren't more women at the top level but posts like this are helping to change that!

David Wells

How refreshing to read your blog Michelle. The same day I read it and watched the excerpt from the Morgan Freeman interview, I had a converation with my 20 year old daughter (Tessa) who is doing a two year course in Theatre Arts which has culminated with a circus performance the family was lucky enough to see. Talking about the performance, Tessa was extolling the virtues of one of her teachers, a lady from Ethiopia. I had met some of Tessa's teachers but in attempting to identify this one in the conversation with Tessa, I asked "Is she black?". The skin colour of this wonderful, nurturing, encouraging, inspiring teacher was simply not a thing that had registered with Tessa. Ultimately, Tessa replied "I suppose she is".
As a 52 y.o Australian male, I obviously still have a fair bit to learn about discrimination. Your post and the attitude of the next generation (if my daughter is representative)are instructive.

Nick Davison

I have to say that as a business owner the sex of an employee would never be a factor when considering who to promote. Having said that, I do think that the threat of maternity leave is a potentially off putting factor when considering promoting a women for a number of employers.

Carter

Thanks for the post! My wife works in accounting services for small businesses and she never has any problems with getting labeled because her boss speaks so highly of her to her clients.

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