Posts tagged Women in leadership
I run DIAL-AN-ANGEL. We have just celebrated our 45th Anniversary in business. We have been attempting to get the Government to give our clients choice and provide a rebate for in home professional childcare, disability care and elder care since the 1970′s. People are paying for this service from their after tax income. If people registered their nannies for the rebate, it would stop the cash economy and hence the Government would be receiving extra PAYG from those who have not previously declared the payments.
Women will not advance into leadership / board positions if they are not provided with affordable and available professional childcare. All we are asking is for some equity and choice for our clients who would like to have an inhome professional childcarer care for their young children. What about people who do shiftwork? What happens when the children are sick and can’t go to day care? What happens if you want your children to have one-to-one care vs 1 to 4. It’s time for the Government to sit up and take notice.
Clients still need to use a reputable Agency (where the worker has been fully screened and interviewed) and not just some on line portal where cheap childcare options are available. We have developed a petition on www.makecarefair.com.au and need 20000 signatures to then lobby the Govt. This is a serious issue and needs to be addressed.
This is needed for ALL in home care not just childcare. I was indeed fortunate to have a professional child carer look after my own two children for 11 years. They are well adjusted children who were provided with the very best care available. We have many many clients who would be back in the workforce full time if a professional childcarer in the home had the same rebate as a childcare centre or family day care. The majority of our clients use our services on a part time basis (2 – 3 days a week).
We could talk forever about the topic but you’re right….a lot of attitudes, work practices and support fundamentally have to change.
My husband is very supportive of my career and does his share of childcare himself but just struggles with the housework!
I wonder what corporation you are referring to in your article. If it is my employer we have a way to go. We still have some old mentality even though we have come a long way to support diversity practically. What we struggle to find is an example of a return to work executive mum who’s career improved upon her return. We have an action to actually survey the workforce to find out. The point is trying to find out if we are paying lip service to the diversity angle or really making it work. I returned to a job – not a role. Given tasks that did not fit my skills and little or no support. My restricted hours (8-4.30 and 4 days a week) were seen as the reason I was not provided opportunities despite having greater experience
I really do agree that although we have a change to undertake to be effective leaders of diverse teams – we need the change to happen within ourselves. It took 5 months since my return to the workforce as a mum to finally get a real job – where I am valued and was happily allowed to work 4 days, remotely as long as I could manage the workload. Negotiated a payrise with it! My boss talks about our kids and seems to relish the personal side of his role.
I don’t like spending so much time away from my son but I do need to earn money and if I’m going to worm I’m not going to spend my time unhappily just bringing home the bacon. Life is too short and too damn good.
Free childcare…..how amazing. I have to consider whether I can have a 2nd child from a purely financial front due to the cost of childcare. Just horrendous. The rebate is the ONLY benefit I can claim from the Govt as my earnings push me out of any tax relief. Amazing that so many talented women and men are forced to stay at home as they cannot afford the support otherwise.
My friend cannot rely on the long day care hours – 7.30am – 6pm as she works an hour from home and runs a division of a large corporation so cannot guarantee the traffic or last minute issues won’t have her knocking on the door of a closed child care centre. So she has hired a nanny for the small sum of $70k p.a. which is taken from her net salary! She is no millionaire but has no choice if she wants a house.
Ahhhhhh…..anyway things are looking up…gradually.
This blog first appeared on NaomiSimson.com I was particularly interested in establishing if the US experience might be different to the Australian experience. Here is her thoughts..
I was forwarded a news article this week about Facebooks #2 leader: Sheryl Sandberg. She had been at the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland – on the eve of Facebooks listing announcement. She has been quoted as saying women need to aim high “Keep your foot on the gas pedal.” I was curious to understand what she meant by this. I definitely don’t believe that women need to ‘give up their femininity’ to succeed. In fact there is nothing worse than trying to do business with an aggressive, pushy woman (or man for that matter).
I considered that perhaps it was a cultural thing. But after listening to her TED talk on the topic (view below) I have to concur that much of what she says does translate to Australia.
This generation we will barely make a dent on the number of women in board rooms around Australia – nor in senior leadership roles – but the point she raises is what do we tell our daughters… and our sons. What lessons do we impart to inspire them to make the choices they want without fear of failure.
Sheryl gives us three insights.
1. ‘Sit at the table’ – this means women need to really participate, make a statement, stand up for themselves – don’t underestimate your own ability. ‘Own your own your success.’ This could be viewed as slightly pushy however how often do women not apply for the job that they don’t have every skill for – whilst their male equivalent would put himself forward.’
There will be sacrifices that we make for playing a bigger game… and these are sacrifices that our brothers wont have to make.
I was having dinner with my daughter (16) and son (14) over the holidays – and my son asked me if I would prefer to be a man or a woman… I instantly responded ‘A woman’ – when he asked the same question of my daughter, after some deliberation she said ‘A man’ when I questioned why she said – ‘they just get everything easier.’ – This saddened me. At such a young age my daughter is already seeing limitations…
2. ‘Make your partner a real partner’ – Sheryl laments that in fact there has been more progress with equality in the workplace than on the domestic front. She said workingwomen work twice as hard on domestic chores and do three times the childcare than their male counterparts. She wonders if it is because from a very young age society puts more pressure on males to succeed. We need to make it easier for males to stay it home – too. Men are not always welcomed at playgroup.
Interesting that a number of years ago I was called up to see the vice principal of my daughters school – as the spirited girl she is she had pushed the boundaries and they wanted to discuss it with me specifically rather than my husband who was the primary after school carer.
This successful female educator said ‘Your daughter just needs to see more of you – you travel a lot for work and she misses you terribly’ – I responded – ‘she does have a parent with her every night of the week; her father…’ She realized what she had just said. Here was one successful career woman telling another that the role model I was being for my daughter was not appropriate. And this was from a leader of a girl’s school – at that point I did ask what they were teaching the girls about financial independence and fulfilling careers…
Stereo typing is very, very hard to change
3. ‘Don’t leave before you leave’ – Sheryl said that in planning for a pregnancy and to have ‘children’ fit neatly into a career often means that women are planning to take time out of their career long before they need to. In fact they might even hold back on a promotion or responsibility because they think ‘I might not be here next year’.
From the moment women think about having a baby…they might be less career focused as such their job may become far less fulfilling. Yet once you have a child at home to return to work is a massive sacrifice. So your job better be rewarding, challenging and you really need to be making a difference because otherwise it is too hard and simply not worth the cost (both financially and emotionally).
If you took your foot off the ‘gas’ too early in your career ie you didn’t take a promotion for instance then this might mean you don’t have the ‘best’ job to return to. I wrote a blog about this very thing some months ago.
I concur with Sheryl – we want to teach our children to make powerful choices on what they want to do. Not what they think is prescribed for them – because that is how it has always been.
This is an excerpt that originally appeared on Margie Hartleys blog. There is a commercial reason for wanting more women in leadership roles – simply it is a growth strategy – highly talented people who have a wealth of experience.
The disappearing pipeline of talented women is my greatest concern.
I believe the noise is strong for senior women… strong enough to sustain continued support.
Where the greatest stress for women lies is in line or middle management.
Extensive University studies show women (and men) are at their most stressed between early 30’s and late 40’s. They are child bearing and rearing, they have ageing parents, 30% are divorced or single parents, they have responsibilities for staff and usually a lack of autonomy in decision making but loads of reporting and they have an organisational expectation to be compliant in taking direction from above.
Life is complex.
If women are to survive and to THRIVE at work then one thing is clear they need support. Barbara Pocock from the Centre for Work Life at Flinders University in Adelaide controversially states that the emergence of the so called ‘sensitive new age man’ has done little to lighten the domestic workload of women. Women hold the emotional capital of a family (birthdays, relationships, homework, diaries ) and surprisingly still the majority of domestic duties.
This talented female middle management workforce need support to stay at work –
practical support on how to be
- resilient at work
– manage conflict and politics ,
- ask for a pay rise
- deal with difficult people
- ask for flexibility
I coach these women as well as the senior talent. These women often will vote with their feet when it becomes too complex…..they begin their own businesses because its too hard and they choose to opt out. They often opt out without their clarity about why or how they could have managed to get support. And corporate Australia loses.
Many highly skilled women do not progress up the corporate ladder. Women and companies are themselves the biggest culprits as evidenced by a report by McKinseys this year.