I don’t know if anyone caught the news last week. On September 11 a textile factory fire in Karachi, Pakistan killed 289 workers. The factory made jeans destined for Europe. In reading about this tragedy and why it happened I was reminded of a quote in an investigative report on Apple and its Asian manufacturer Foxconn in the New York Times in January 2012. The series focused on the too-often fatal working conditions for employees who polished aluminum iPad cases. The quote by MIT professor, Nicholas Ashford, was, “If it were terribly difficult to deal with aluminum dust, I would understand. But do you know how easy dust is to control? It’s called ventilation. We solved this problem over a century ago.” Jeans? iPads? A profoundly sad common denominator…these tragedies were avoidable. Continue reading
Posted in Observations on Transition
Tagged Apple, career transition, Eleanor Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt It's Up to the Women, Foxconn, Harvard, It's Up to the Women, Karachi Pakistan Textile Factory Fire, linda rossetti, Nicholas Ashford, observations on transition, personal transition, Tickle Me Elmo, transition, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory NYC, women's transition, women's transition issues
I was reading the New Yorker this week and was struck by an article by Jonah Lehrer called, Groupthink: the brainstorming myth (The New Yorker, January 30, 2012 pg 22+). The article was interesting in that it completely upended the notion of brainstorming as a productive tool for creative problem solving. Brainstorming? My kids, 1st and 2nd graders, even know the approach. Continue reading
“From now on you’ll be traveling the road between who you think you are and who you can be,” said a letter addressed to Anne Hathaway in her role as Mia in the Princess Diaries, a 2001 movie that my 8-year-old daughter and I enjoyed over the holidays. Hathaway went on to read more of the letter by saying, ”the key is to allow yourself to make the journey. Courage is not the absence of fear but the judgment that something else is more important that fear.”
I frantically jotted down this exchange. It seemed more profound than the typical Disney “G” rated movie. Maybe I’d had enough of turkey and relatives? Continue reading
” I wasted a lot of time,” confided a long-time friend as she described the years that she had not worked outside the home. She and I were having a conversation about her decision to return to work. At the time she had three high school aged children. The dialogue stayed with me.
A recent conversation got me thinking about this ‘wasted time’ exchange. A friend was out and about with a visible kick to her step. Continue reading
What a week! It started with a minor hand injury that has left me with a few splinted fingers. At the funeral of a dear family friend – also this week — I had to duck a few crushing hand shakes given that the blow was to my right hand. My visiting mother-in-law queried me about how we plan to raise our children given that my husband and I hail from different faiths. Caught a bee sting today while watching our two little stars at a ‘mock’ swim meet. Did I mention that this was a family vacation week?
Amidst this swirl I read, Continue reading
A dear friend from business school stopped by to see me one day at the office. I knew something was up because she was in town from Colorado and REALLY wanted to get together. It was one of those weeks where I had kid’s events, work commitments, or other stuff every night. So, the only time we could pull off was lunch in my not-so-lovely office cafeteria.
Looking back – I am so happy that she stopped by. At lunch she shared with me an experience that had deeply affected her. Just days before she had attended a HBS event, a healthcare symposium, during which students and alumni get together to discuss emerging trends and career issues. At the event’s luncheon she sat with two soon-to-be graduating students who happened to be incredibly gifted ladies. Prior to attending HBS one had been an industrial engineer, the other a NASA scientist. Despite these credentials their conversation with my friend was astonishing. Continue reading
My greatest fear in entering a transition was isolation. Now, a few months into this, let me say that I had it all wrong.
I left a full-time role in Spring 2010. My boss often joked in public, “you can work any 60 hours you’d like.” He believed his approach was both enlightened and funny.
In the past year I’ve embarked on a transition to redefine my work-self. I put myself in Bucket #5 in my post “Women’s Transitions: a process…” I have more non-negotiables this time. My work-self has to be integrated into my parenting self. I have children in first grade and kindergarten. It also has to adhere to my idealistic self: I believe everyone can change the world. I thrive on ideas and people…
So here is my 180 on isolation…. Continue reading