True confession: I actually read "The Economist" magazine. I have so much I want to get done each week with work and family and my outside of work passions (like this blog), that sometimes the arrival of the Economist seems to loom over me each Friday night. It is a huge read and no matter how good I get at my skimming, it is daunting.
But satisfying. It is so much more than Time or Newsweek. And it truly is global. I gain a lot by seeing what is going on in the world - for good or bad. So, it remains part of my weekly checklist of things to do and I am quite proud that I have been doing pretty well with it for almost two years now.
This post is about last Friday's cover story. As I write this, the challenge is for me to stay within my primary blog area - focusing on managing a career vision, being successful in a job, and finding the balance between work and life. For me this encompasses both genders and all (working) ages.
Many others focused on working women and/or working mothers will find a lot of fodder here, too. After all the first line of the article is: "The economic empowerment of women across the rich world is one of the most remarkable revolutions of the past 50 years."
Let me summarize some of key quotes relevant to Balanced Bits:
- "Many women - and indeed many men - feel they they are caught in an ever-tightening tangle of commitments."
- "But the biggest reason why women remain frustrated is more profound: many women are forced to choose between motherhood and careers."
- "Even well-off parents worry that they spend too little time with their children, thanks to ever crowded schedules and the ever-buzzing Blackberry."
- "Home-working is increasingly fashionable. More than 90% of companies in Germany and Switzerland allow flexible working. A growing number of firms are learning to divide the working week in new ways -- judging staff on annual rather than weekly hours, allowing them to work nine days a fortnight [Jon note: this is a British publication!], letting them come in early or late and allowing husbands and wives to share jobs."
What's my takeaway? There really isn't much new here, but this visibility of work-life and women's issues is great. We need to continue to be aware, find new ways to approach our challenges, share ideas, and always strive for wonderful lives and successful and satisfying careers.
Another key quote from the article is: "If the empowerment of women was one of the great changes of the past 50 years, dealing with its social consequences will be one of the great challenges of the next 50."
I guess it is up to us.