If your feed is like mine, you’ve spent the last few days scrolling through powerful images of men and women standing up for equality and human rights. Every witty sign and every story about a woman taking her first step into activism has warmed my heart. And then I see images like this one. And I remember that there are still far too many people who embrace archaic, ridiculous, asinine conceptions of women and gender and who allow those ideas to inform every personal and professional decision they make. They won’t be silent, so neither can we. We will always be funnier. Smarter. Louder. #whywemarch#whywewillkeepmarching
As a mother, I spend a lot of time thinking about the culture my son will grow up in. And lately, my analysis has been somewhat grim. The most pressing cultural issues seem like problems that I simply can’t address. I’m not a lawmaker, a psychologist, or a social worker. I’m the Chief Strategy Officer for a marketing and PR firm, and I struggle to keep up with the latest parenting research, much less strategies for saving the world.
I’m guessing many company leaders feel the same way. Our job is to generate revenue and grow our businesses—it’s somebody else’s job to fix America’s biggest problems, right?
But, it turns out, that’s not the right way to look at it. A growing body of research shows that the workplace is actually a realistic space to begin initiating cultural change.
The social sphere is abuzz today with responses to Meghann Foye‘s first book, Meternity. The novel focuses on a woman who fakes a pregnancy in order to take a “meternity leave,” an opportunity to decompress and reflect on her career and life.
Foye’s own life apparently inspired the book. Foye writies in the New York Post, “As I watched my friends take their real maternity leaves, I saw that spending three months detached from their desks made them much more sure of themselves. One friend made the decision to leave her corporate career to create her own business; another decided to switch industries. From the outside, it seemed like those few weeks of them shifting their focus to something other than their jobs gave them a whole new lens through which to see their lives.”
Naturally, mothers across the internet became enraged. “Maternity leave is not a vacation!” they shouted from their mobile devices. One user in my Facebook feed responded, “I honestly want her to take my kids for a day and then tell me how she feels. Horrible!” and another furiously explained, “Maternity leave is not a time for lunch and getting pedicures. It’s a 24/7 selfless time to care for a brand new human being making sure you keep them alive that is totally helpless.”
As we gear up for the 2016 Grammy’s, I have a small request. Take a moment to remember an amazing musician who, like 99% of the world’s most talented musicians, never made it to the Grammy stage but nevertheless made a global impact.
Over the weekend I attended an event called Radical Wellbeing, hosted by Deepak Chopra and Danielle Posa.
I have an article forthcoming in The Muse about how changing our corporate cultures is the first step–and perhaps the most efficient method–of changing our national culture. It’s a bold statement, but I think it’s true. Approximately 96%(ish) of us spend most of our waking hours at a job, and the way employees feel about their work has a dramatic impact on their overall happiness and, consequently, how they behave in the world. If we want to make lasting change in our culture (less violence, more kindness)
I’ll write more about what employers and corporate leaders can do to promote wellbeing in the workplace in my article for The Muse, but for now I want to share a few key takeaways from the event.
The needs and rights of career-loving parents continue to be part of our cultural dialogue on a daily basis, thanks in part to a number of working moms with celebrity status—think Sheryl Sandberg, Michelle Obama, Jennifer Garner, and Jessica Alba. We can learn a lot from these women, and their contributions to the conversation about the rights of mothers in the workplace are important. But, of course, we all know that their lives are not exactly representative of a “typical” parent. They have resources that many of us won’t ever have.
Continue reading “3 Semi-Famous Single Moms You Can Actually Relate To (And Learn From)”
In her speech introducing her husband at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, Michelle Obama told the audience that, during her first term as First Lady, her most important title was “mom-in-chief.” This statement was met with extended applause.
I love Michelle Obama. I love the causes she stands for, from fighting against childhood obesity to supporting women’s rights abroad to addressing poverty. When I go for runs around DC, I often jog past the White House and imagine Michelle Obama doing 50 push-ups and then rewarding herself with a homemade bowl of lobster mac and cheese, and this image inspires me for another two miles. I simply adore her. There’s no question that Michelle Obama’s work is a significant force in the fight for equality.
Continue reading “4 Women Who Are Redefining the Concept of “Working Mother””
It was Thursday evening at 6:30, the second hour of the period of time that many working parents begrudgingly refer to as “the grind:” the three or four chaotic hours between our arrival home from work and bedtime, in which we must make dinner, eat dinner, and relish our limited time with our children before bathing them, wrangling them into their pajamas, reading umpteen bedtime stories, putting them to bed, and preparing for tomorrow morning.
Continue reading “4 Ways Even the Busiest People Can Be More Mindful”