Now that women have more influence in the workplace and the marketplace, they must take control of balancing work with family, according to the new book "Womenomics: Write Your Own Rules for Success."
High-powered broadcasters Claire Shipman of ABC News' "Good Morning America" and Katty Kay of the BBC share their own stories and those of other working women who have struggled but found a way to make time for both. By negotiating with confidence and learning to say no, women can achieve their ideal work and family lives, the two authors say. They give readers practical steps to achieve more flexibility on the job.
Read an excerpt of the book below and click here to check out their blog.
Erin clicks send on her last e-mail of the day, stretches her legs, and checks her watch. Relief and anticipation flood through her. She's right on schedule— half an hour to pack up, grab a Diet Coke, and reach her son's baseball practice at four o'clock. She relishes these afternoons with him, and arrives at seven in the morning on Thursdays, just to be sure she'll be out the door on time. And then she often finishes up any remaining work she has left in the evenings—from home. A trade well worth the extra hours, Erin shrugs, as she gets her papers together. Her boss says he doesn't mind, as long as it's only once a week. She rubs her head. Did he seem put out last week when she reminded him she'd miss an afternoon meeting? She must be imagining that. Her work is stellar, after all. She's a rising star. Of course, she will have to endure the gauntlet of raised eyebrows from colleagues as she heads out, briefcase in hand, clearly leaving for the day. Her shoulders tense a bit as she grabs her keys.
A shadow crosses her desk. Her boss, Michael, a friendly but exacting fifty-two-year-old, a top performer at the company, has something in his hand. Dread invades her stomach as the blue binder hits her desk. "Erin," he says, his voice urgent, excited even. "We've just been offered a shot at the Clearwater deal. Could you take a quick look, let me know your thoughts?" Erin stares up at him, frozen in frustration, as her mind plunges into that exquisite form of maternal torture: imagining the agony of a disappointed child. Can she say no? And then her ego kicks in. The Clearwater deal—she knows that project cold. It's the sort of work that gives her an adrenaline rush and would really burnish her reputation. Why does it feel that there are no good choices? It would be easy enough to go through the report a few hours from now, and e-mail her thoughts to Michael, but how will that look? Uninterested? Uncommitted? She begins to feel physically ill, as those familiar stress hormones kick in. Why does she feel so guilty, so powerless, so trapped?
Erin could be Mary, she could be Andrea, she could be Karen. She could be a sales rep, or a doctor, or an accountant. She could be in Houston, Minneapolis, New York. And that commitment to her son could be a visit with an elderly father, a marathon training session, or even a long-planned outing with friends.