THE LADDER DIARIES YR 2: Walking The Tight Rope

Once again, the WSJ's report on "Women in the Economy" takes a long look at how women in the C-suite manage to have it all, and do it all. For most working women, mothers and wives, the truth is you can't have it all, all of the time. Sorry Helen Gurley Brown, but we need to get real. Kids get sick, husbands travel, mom and pops are hundreds of miles away, the nanny disappears without warning just when you have to give a big presentation, etc.

Rising up the ranks to the coveted C-suite is no easy feat for women, particularly those with children and husbands. Every day is like walking a tight rope. Keep the team happy, the boss happy, the hubby happy, the kids happy, the BFFs happy.

Before the ranks of corporate America level out the male-female playing field at the top, that tight rope needs to come down. The Work-Life Balancing Act needs a complete makeover.

Thank you WSJ for the Wrap-Up. We've heard it all before--make work-life flexibility part of the corporate culture, encourage "senior women to reach out to younger women", celebrate the success stories of women who've succeeded at the juggling act, and "provide tools for managers" to create work-life policies that retain not repel key employees and middle managers on the rise.

In a perfect world smart, talented, educated women would move through the channels, up the chain of command, and into the C-suite with the helping hands of their mentors and their supportive husbands who enjoyed flex-schedules, worked from a home office, or who could carve out their afternoons for all the ballet lessons, soccer games, and hockey practices kids ages 3 to 18 cram into their schedules. Even better, according to a CNN report, this perfect world would include women who own and run multi-million dollar companies, making time-off a natural perk of the job, along with having a full-time nanny as a member of their salaried "staff."

In the real world, the choices for women aren't about what careers are family friendly, but what positions on the corporate ladder are.  My suspicion is that more and more young women will see the benefit of creating their own perfect world, becoming their own boss, and building their own C-suite. Walking on the high wire will be an option, not a necessity in this perfect world. To this, SL says "Amen sister!"


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