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Thursday, June 01, 2006

This is How We Do It


I had the pleasure of interviewing Carol Evans, CEO and President of Working Mother Magazine. Evans has just authored a book, This is How We Do It, The Working Mothers Manifesto. Here's is our conversation in a question and answer format:

Q. Your book says that 71 percent of mothers work outside the home. With more moms working than staying at home, how has that changed the workplace?

A. The biggest change is that companies are paying attention to family needs. That affects everyone -- moms, dads, young people. Companies finally are sensitized to our needs as human beings that have another life outside of work.

Q. What surprises you about what hasn't changed in the workplace?

A. There's still a big stigma attached with using work/life programs in place for 20 years. Even when companies are trying to do the right thing, there's still a stigma attached to using them. People are worried about what their manager thinks and how it will affect their career.

Q. What do you suggest companies do about that stigma?

A. The number one thing companies can do is provide mangaement training. Your immediate boss is key to your balance. If he thinks you are terrific, you will go far. If not, you are stuck where you are. Working mothers are ambitious so it makes sense that they are worried about the stigma. About 63 percent of working mothers told us they are ambitious and getting ahead matters a lot.

Q. Why do you think the number of working mothers is so high?

A. Money. They are working to pay the mortgage in good neighborhoods with good schools. We have high expectations of our lifestyle. Over the last decade, it takes two incomes to have that lifestyle.

Q. What is the most disturbing trend you see today that affect working mothers?

A. The culture of overwork. As the economy is constricting workers are being asked to do more at all levels. People are expected to be on the job 24/7 . This is not over with this battle between overwork and the needs of families. It is very painful for mothers. They are giving so much, they can't keep giving more and keep their sanity.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right, employers need to be more enlightened, women want more money so that they can afford better schools and a better lifestyle....this we know. But what about the title? How DO we do it? I'm thinking social networking and layers of backup are EVERYTHING. My babysitter took the week off, my mom was sick, my husbad was in grad school, so how did I manage to work? A combination of a flexible boss, a laptop, the Jetson's first season DVD and three great women who each took an afternoon with my son.
Now if that babysitter EVER thinks of taking time off again.....

- S

2:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right, employers need to be more enlightened, women want more money so that they can afford better schools and a better lifestyle....this we know. But what about the title? How DO we do it? I'm thinking social networking and layers of backup are EVERYTHING. My babysitter took the week off, my mom was sick, my husbad was in grad school, so how did I manage to work? A combination of a flexible boss, a laptop, the Jetson's first season DVD and three great women who each took an afternoon with my son.
Now if that babysitter EVER thinks of taking time off again.....

- S

2:23 PM  

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