Tag Archives: women’s issues

Those elusive 21st century female role models

Is anyone else entertained?  Can you recall any male executive who was held accountable amidst all of the hoopla surrounding the global financial crisis in 2008?  We had a crisis that resulted in the collapse or near collapse of large financial institutions, like Lehman Brothers or AIG; the federal bailout of financial services and large industrial companies, recall TARP and GM; downturns in the global stock market and the housing market; and widespread unemployment that reached and still remains at historic highs.    Now answer this:  is there anyone in America who can’t tell you who Ina Drew is? Continue reading

Transition Approach: certain versus confident

I remember a great NPR piece from the summer of 2009.  I was driving in traffic, my typical  commute. Eight miles in 55 minutes.   The discussion’s topic was leadership.  The reason it caught me was that it described leadership in two simple yet separate buckets; certain or confident.  It hit me because I think that every leader I have ever worked under would think of herself or himself as confident when in fact they were more often certain.  I wonder if this simple dichotomy works in transition as well?  Continue reading

A 2012 Challenge: Innovation

“Workers are dropping out of the labor force in droves and they are mostly women,” boasted a front page New York Times headline just before New Year’s.  “They are not dropping out forever; instead, these young women seem to be postponing their working lives to get more education.”  What can I say?  It caught my eye during a rare moment of peace over the holiday vacation. Continue reading

What’s your Agenda?

” 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

The Baseline: An elusive tool

Last Sunday my family and I participated in the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk. For those who aren’t Bostonians, the Jimmy Fund is the fund-raising arm of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute dedicated to supporting research on childhood cancers.  My daughter and I were walking a pace or two behind our team.  We happened to be interspersed with a group called Jessica’s Twinkling Stars.  There were maybe 30 of them including 8 or 10 little girls about my daughter’s age.  Each of the girls had a light purple crocheted hat; some hats were adorned with white flowers.   My eight year old daughter was captivated by the hats. Continue reading

Gender Roles: A Child’s Perspective

“Does someone pay you?” quipped my daughter this morning as I tried to explain my current self-employed status.  She and my son have been on the “does Mom work?” line of questioning over the past week.  It is clear to me that they are struggling in their minds to understand my role, or said better, my changed role. Continue reading

Summer Book Review #13: A Gift from the Sea

I happened upon a cool website yesterday: the Marine Biology Lab in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.  The piece that caught my eye was a story about a professor from UCSF who has started a web series called iBio; a series of free video lectures and vignettes by the world’s best biologists.   There was one story that spoke to my Novofemina side.  Continue reading

Summer Book Review #12: Women in Career & Life Transitions

Do you remember the sock puppet commercial from the early 2000’s?   I think it was for pets.com or some other internet start-up.   A sock puppet with scraggly hair and button eyes would respond with the phrase, “the horror,” to many missives tossed at it.   It was silly and cavalier and – most of the time – just perfect.

The sock puppet’s “horror” voice was in my ear in  Continue reading

Summer Book Review # 11: It Takes a Village

A rare evening of downtime last week inspired this week’s book choice.   I hardly ever put on the tv but in doing so I happened upon the 2009 documentary “The Last Train Home” directed by Lixin Fan.  This documentary follows  a Chinese couple from Sichuan province as they travel almost 1,000 miles home to their native village for the 4 day New Year’s celebration; a trek made by almost 130 million migrant Chinese workers.   The couple have made the journey for more than a decade to see their two children who are in the care of an aging grandmother.   Aside from letters this will be their only contact with the children for the year.

At one point the mother’s total anguish is overwhelming Continue reading

Summer Book Review #10: The Price of Motherhood

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