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Where is Location, Location, Location in the Virtual World?

Posted by YWM on May 22, 2013

Jane CollenBy Jane F. Collen

Lawyers Loosen UP!

Location, Location, Location” is no longer the key ingredient for success in business, or a career. Telecommuting is a recent but very real part of some legal practices these days.

Oh sure, there are still a large number of staunch old firms that cling to only using physical paper files, limit employee and even attorney access to the internet and have no electronic video teleconferencing capacity.  But I am lucky enough to be one of the founding partners in an IP law firm that protects these wonderful inventions and has been one of the forerunners to implementing their use in our practice.

Yes, that is right.  I amazed a competitor colleague way back about 15 years ago when our office first went paperless.  I explained to him how we scanned in all the mail, and then matched it to an electronic file, and that the paper was then recycled, except for any document where an original signature would be needed.  The older gentlemen thought I was pulling his leg.  He could not imagine a legal world without volumes of papers kept in rows of files in dark and dank basements.  “But how do you find it again?” he muttered to himself.   “It took a bit of adjustment,” I confirmed, “but now files are accessible from anywhere, by multiple users. . .” I trailed off, he was muttering to himself, “impossible” and his eyes had glazed over.

But my partners had had vision.  They saw that this technology was the wave of the future, and rather than shying away from change, we embraced it.  Businesses all function the same way, even law businesses: if you are not moving forward, you are losing ground.

At first it was hard to wean ourselves off paper completely; we found most attorneys printing out copies of documents forpaper ease in editing and drafting.  But in time we became adept at editing on line.  Now of course most attorneys could not function without red lining and sophisticated Word® software, dictation and secretarial typing is fading away.  We employ our PaperCut Protocol® to ensure that we don’t print out copies just to be discarded.  We reuse paper for printing out drafts, we use recycled paper (clean new paper made from recycled paper) whenever possible and we recycle all of our discarded paper, even though anything confidential requires shredding.

And now fifteen years later, this is more the rule than the exception: even some of the dinosaur firms are jumping on board.  We now would not have it any other way.  I deal with the United States Patent and Trademark Office and they now prefer electronic submissions.  We no longer have to file “certified copies” and originals, we must simple file “true copies”.

We have moved on to actively implement new changes, continually adjusting our policies to accommodate our technology. Our thrice weekly meeting of all the attorneys in the firm routinely incorporates our audio and video call in capability.

We were shocked when an attorney who had left us do to a relocation to another part of the country complained that her new, multi state, large law firm only had paper files, and if she wanted to work on a matter that originated in a different office, she had to wait for them to mail the file!

We now ask clients to specify – do you want us to generate paper, or do you prefer exclusively electronic communications.

And the best perk of all this push to paperless-ness and calling in?  Virtual presence.  An attorney can access the files s/he needs from anywhere.  This enables us to access a document in meetings outside the office or in court.  But more importantly it enables us to work from any location.  We have a few attorneys who live in different states than New York (where our firm is located).  Many days they are able to telecommute.  We have had several attorneys, who for family reasons, have had to temporarily relocate, and they telecommute to work from several states away on a daily basis.

Even the United States Patent and Trademark Office has telecommuting Examining Attorneys.  In fact over 64% of their staff telecommute daily, with a requirement to be in the office at certain prearranged times.

So take heart.  Although it is sometimes surprising how firms stick to traditions, most firms have either chosen to or been forced to adapt to the way technology has entered into the legal profession.   Of course you have to check the ethical rules in the state in which you are admitted, but technology has made it possible to practice with a firm in a state even if you are not living there.  Not only are there the more traditional opportunities of employment with a firm with multi-state locations, new opportunities to telecommute should only become more prevalent.

 Jane F. Collen is of counsel  at Collen IP, a New York based law firm specializing in Intellectual Property, http://www.collenip.com.

Posted in Successful Workplaces, Uncategorized, Worklife Balance | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

New Poll Shows Bipartisan Voter Mandate for Family Friendly Workplace Policies

Posted by sherrysaunders on December 5, 2012

national partnership

By the National Partnership for Women & Families

Following a divisive election, new poll results released by the National Partnership for Women & Families reveal that the nation’s voters are united in their support for making the nation’s workplaces more family friendly. Across party and demographic lines, an overwhelming majority of those surveyed said they struggle to manage their work and family responsibilities — and that they think it is important for Congress and the president to consider policies that would help, such as paid sick days and paid family and medical leave insurance.

“America’s working families are being forced to make impossible choices between the well-being of their families and their financial security every day because our nation’s workplace policies are badly out of sync with the needs of today’s workers and families,” said National Partnership President Debra L. Ness. “These new survey data clearly show that no matter which candidate voters supported for president this election, they are feeling the pressure of out-of-date workplace policies, and they want action to fix them.”

The bipartisan poll, conducted by Lake Research Partners and The Tarrance Group, found that 86 percent of voters nationwide said it is important for Congress and the president to consider new laws like paid sick days and paid family and medical leave insurance to help keep families financially secure. Nearly two-thirds said it is “very important.” Other key findings include:

  • Strong support across party lines: 73 percent of Republicans, 87 percent of independents and 96 percent of Democrats said congressional and presidential attention to family friendly policies is important.
  • Latinos, African Americans, women and young people — the very voter groups much talked about for their impact this election — felt strongest about the importance of congressional and presidential action: 79 percent of Latinos, 77 percent of African Americans, 69 percent of women and 68 percent of people under 30 considered it “very important.”
  • There is a near universal experience of struggle and hardship in trying to meet work, family and personal responsibilities: Nearly three-quarters of voters (74 percent) said they experience these challenges at least somewhat often, and nearly four in 10 said they experience conflict “all the time” or “very often.”
  • Similarly, nearly three-quarters of voters (72 percent) said they and their families would be likely to face significant financial hardships if they had a serious illness, had to care for a family member with a serious illness, or had a new child.

“There is near universal agreement among voters of all political parties that balancing work, family and personal responsibilities is a challenge,” said Brian Nienaber, vice president at The Tarrance Group. “Voters also strongly agree that a major life altering event like a new child or a seriously ill relative would cause them significant financial hardships.”

“This poll shows that voters want and need family friendly policies that help protect their economic security when illness strikes or babies are born,” said Celinda Lake, president of Lake Research Partners. “Across the board, voters are struggling to manage their responsibilities on the job and at home, they are worried about the financial impact of major health events, and they want lawmakers to adopt policies that will help. The support for paid sick days and paid family and medical leave insurance is strong and broad-based.”

The Healthy Families Act, which was introduced this Congress, would allow workers in businesses with 15 or more employees to earn up to seven job-protected paid sick days each year to be used to recover from their own illnesses, access preventive care or provide care for a sick family member. It currently has 118 cosponsors in the House of Representatives and 18 cosponsors in the Senate.

Members of Congress are also expected to work on a national family and medical leave insurance proposal that would create a federal insurance-based system to provide up to 60 days of partially-paid time off to workers to address their own serious health conditions, care for a family member with a serious health condition, or care for a newborn, newly adopted child or newly placed foster child.

“This new poll adds to an overwhelming body of evidence showing that the public strongly supports common sense, family friendly workplace policies,” said Vicki Shabo, director of work and family programs at the National Partnership. “It’s time for Congress to focus on the real challenges facing real people in this country and prioritize passage of modest, reasonable proposals like the Healthy Families Act and a national paid family and medical leave insurance program that would go a long way toward protecting the health and economic stability of our families while also strengthening our economy.”

The survey of 1,220 adults who indicated they had already voted or were likely to vote was conducted by telephone from November 4 to November 6, 2012. The sample included both landlines and mobile phones. It has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.

The topline results of the poll can be found here: www.NationalPartnership.org/ElectionPoll

Posted in Economy, Families, Research, Successful Workplaces, Uncategorized, Worklife Balance | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

From Gen Y Women to Employers: What You Need to Know about Work-Life Balance

Posted by knbarrett on November 30, 2011

Business and Professional Women’s Foundation recently released From Gen Y Women to Employers: What They Want in the Workplace and Why it Matters for Business, a report that explores Gen Y women’s career choices and the opportunities and challenges they face in the workplace. Results from our national survey of Gen Y (born 1978-1994) women challenged popular perceptions of Gen Y women in the workplace. Over the next few weeks, we’ll explore some of the key misconceptions across four thematic areas: work values, work-life balance, gender in the workplace and inter-generational workplace dynamics.

By Kara Nichols Barrett, lead project researcher

Today’s topic is work-life balance. Over 660 Gen Y told us about:

  • the relative importance of work-life balance;
  • their definition of work-life balance;
  • challenges to achieving work-life balance; and
  • individual and employer strategies for achieving work-life balance.

Here are the top “do’s” and “don’ts” from Gen Y women to employers on work-life balance.

Don’t underestimate its importance. We know it sounds like a broken record to state yet again that Gen Y women value work-life balance. But, work-life balance is REALLY important. Ninety-six percent of us ranked it as either very important or important. What’s more, the importance we place on work-life balance cuts across our key areas of difference: occupation, marital status, and whether or not we have children. Too often work-life balance is treated only as work-family conflict. This approach misses the mark in three important ways.

  1. It excludes Gen Y workers without children. Work-life balance is equally important to us whether or not we have children. When work-life balance programs and policies favor workers with children, formal and informal rules often preclude Gen Y workers from work-life programs.
  2. It narrowly defines “family.” Almost three-quarters of us reported that family is very important. We are granddaughters, daughters, sisters, aunts, spouses and partners. Our family responsibilities extend beyond the nuclear family.
  3. It disregards responsibilities and interests outside of work and home. There’s more to life than work and home. In addition to work and family, the following aspects of life are also important to us: hobbies (55%), friends (44%), exercise (43%), and volunteering (36%).

Do ask us what it means. Just because the majority of us believe work-life balance is important doesn’t mean that we all understand or define it the same way. Twenty-five percent of us want to maintain separate spheres, 50% want to integrate work and life and 18% believe that work-life balance is really about workplaces better reflecting the realities of the workforce.

Don’t expect us to live up to the 1960s “ideal worker.” We aren’t looking for a policy or programmatic fix; we want different workplace assumptions and rules. Too many of our workplaces are built off of the 1960s “ideal worker” – the worker who is available anytime, anywhere and for as long as you need. Most of us don’t want to be that worker. Most of us believe that work is important and can be meaningful and enjoyable, but we don’t want to mistake our jobs for our lives. If you are really serious about addressing our work-life challenges, you’ll have to explore assumptions about the “ideal worker” and the role of work in an employee’s life.

Do focus on work arrangements.  We know there’s a wide range of programmatic options for employers looking to boost work-life balance. No one is going to complain about onsite health services or a games room, but we suggest that you start with how work is structured. We want programs that address when, where and how work is done. Thirty-seven percent of us said that the most important program an employer could offer is flexible scheduling, 26% said results-based orientation and 15% said telecommuting.

Be sure to check out Chapter Two of the report for a complete overview of our work-life balance research findings and employer implications and applications.

This research, funded from the Virginia Allan Young Careerist Grant, is part of BPW Foundation’s ongoing “Young Careerist” research project that since 2005 has been exploring the career opportunities and challenges facing today’s young working women.  The research gives voice to a distinct group of working women who are vital to developing a diverse and skilled workforce.  Research has been conducted using social media, focus groups and this national survey. To find all of the research and this report, visit our Young Careerist website.

Posted in Families, Gen Y, Research, Worklife Balance | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Misbehavin’ Notification: Gen Y Women Still Facing Gender Discrimination in the Workplace

Posted by sherrysaunders on November 20, 2011

New Survey Results from Business and Professional Women’s Foundation

Washington, DCBusiness and Professional Women’s (BPW) Foundation today released Gen Y Women to Employers: What they Want in the Workplace and Why it Matters for Business, a report that explores Generation Y women’s career choices and the opportunities and challenges they face in the workplace.  This research, based on a national survey conducted in May 2011, disputes many reports in today’s popular literature that Gen Y women do not believe that gender is a problem in today’s workplace.  In fact, 77% of respondents said that gender is a moderate or severe problem in today’s workplace and almost 50% said that they had observed or experienced gender discrimination.

“Far too often Gen Y women are treated as a homogenous group with monolithic perspectives. BPW Foundation’s research questions such views, highlighting how Gen Y women’s workplace expectations and experiences differ by occupation, employer type, compensation type and presence of children,” said Dr. Sheila Barry-Oliver, Chair of the BPW Research and Education Committee that oversaw the research. “Exploring key areas of social difference is vital to understanding Gen Y women’s workplace challenges and opportunities.”

Key findings included concerns about gender and age discrimination, the desire for a holistic approach to work-life balance and the fact that Gen Y women do not hold a uniform set of work values.

  1.  Gen Y women believe Gender Discrimination is Still an Issue in Today’s Workplace. Over 75% of survey participants identified gender as a moderate or severe problem in today’s workplace. The most prevalent forms reported were: stereotyping (63%), unequal compensation (60%), not being treated as an equal (58%), inequality of opportunities (58%), being held to different standards (51%), sexist jokes (38%), and sexual harassment (31%).
  2. Gen Y Women Experience a Double Jeopardy -Gender and Age. Survey results indicate that gender and age may have a compounding effect. Gen Y women who had experienced gender discrimination were more likely to report generational conflict or discrimination than those who had not. Fifty-one percent of Gen Y women who observed or experienced gender discrimination also reported generational discrimination. The most common forms of age discrimination reported were: being perceived as incompetent or inexperienced because of age; name calling such as “kid” and girl”; being passed over for promotions because of age; and being held to different standards because of age.
  3. Gen Y Women Want a More Holistic Approach to Work-Life Balance. Work-life balance literature often focuses on how workers combine work and family responsibilities. Survey results highlight the need to broaden this focus because: 1) Work-life balance is equally important to Gen Y women regardless of whether or not they have children; 2) Family is important for Gen Y women without children; and 3) Gen Y women have responsibilities outside of work and home.
  4. Gen Y Women Hold Disparate Career Values. Gen Y women, as a cohort, did not uniformly report a set of work values. Responses were mediated by various dimensions of difference: occupation, employer type and presence of children. Gen Y women represent a heterogeneity of goals associated with their work life.

“Employers cannot afford to ignore the challenges that Gen Y women face in the workplace. Continuing challenges related to work-life balance and especially to gender and age discrimination have profound business implications. Promoting workplace cultures and practices that embrace equality, flexibility, and inclusivity are imperative for the success and sustainability of business,” explained BPW Foundation CEO Deborah L. Frett.

“For instance, to meet Gen Y women’s work-life balance demands, employers need to move beyond programmatic responses and critically examine their assumptions about the characteristics of the ‘ideal worker.’ Often the ‘ideal worker’ is a person who is available anytime, anywhere and for as long as the employer needs. Gen Y women are largely rejecting this notion.” Frett said. “They are refusing to mistake their job for their life.”

Key Employer Applications from the study include:

  1. Check  assumptions. Employers should examine assumptions about Gen Y women and assumptions underlying workplace policies and practices.
  2. Address the sources not just the symptoms. Designing actions to address work-life balance, gender discrimination and fostering cross-generational relations requires both identifying the condition of inequality and contributing factors to the inequality.
  3. Measure success. Employers should develop indicators to measure the success of actions taken to address challenges and promote opportunities—measures that avoid simply “counting” and that measure changes in levels of gender or age inequality.

This research, funded from the Virginia Allan Young Careerist Grant, is part of BPW Foundation’s ongoing “Young Careerist” research project that since 2005 has been exploring the career opportunities and challenges facing today’s young working women.  The research gives voice to a distinct group of working women who are vital to developing a diverse and skilled workforce.  Research has been conducted using social media, focus groups and this national survey. To find all of the research and this report, visit our Young Careerist website.

Posted in Gen Y, Gender Discrimination, Misbehavin' Notification, Successful Workplaces, Worklife Balance | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Women’s News to Chew On: Link Love for Lunch

Posted by YWM on September 30, 2011

Equity

Equality is good for business [Democrat and Chronicle]

The need for gender equality on TV [Think Progress]

Where have all of the female coaches gone? [Hattiesburg American]

Girls playing sports with boys [Times Union]

Saudi Monarch grants women right to vote (but can’t drive to the polls) [New York Times]

Successful Workplaces

Best cities for women in business [Forbes]

Women led start ups key to economic recovery [Fast Company]

Kathleen Parker:  What do women want in the workplace? More women [Press Herald]

Top women leaders: higher ambition creates equal, if not more value then men [Forbes]

Empowered Workforce

Jarrett-Tchen op ed: Helping women reach their economic potential [Washington Post]

Role of gender in workplace negotiations [Science Codex]

Women top men as social communicators [MediaPost]

Work-Life Balance

Report: Eldercare the new childcare? [WorkFamily]

White House and National Science Foundation announce new workplace flexibility policies.  Should help women in STEM [WorkFamily]

Health

Executive women and eating disorders [Forbes]

Drinking coffee linked to less depression in women [New York Times]

Saluting Misbehavin’ Women

Another American Legion elects its first female commander [NWI Times]

USS Patriot’s trailblazing female commander not looking back [Stripes]

Kagan establishes herself as power during first year on court [Washington Post]

Military/Veterans

VA hospitals continue reaching out to women vets and improving care [ABC Local]

Australian women to be allowed in frontline combat [IB Times]

Small Business

November 26 is Small Business Saturday [Entrepreneur]

Gen Y

Gen Y women and the recession [IB Times]

Other Important News

Federal definition of rape called too narrow [New York Times]

New report says single sex education is ineffective [New York Times]

Posted in Feminism, Link Love, Military, Small Business, Successful Workplaces, Women Veterans, Worklife Balance | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Paid Sick Leave Legislation Catching on Across the Country

Posted by egehl on June 23, 2011

Momentum is building across the country at the state and local level in support of paid sick leave days.

Currently no federal  laws guaranty that all workers must be eligible for a minimum number of paid sick days.  As a result, millions of workers across the country cannot afford or don’t feel comfortable taking time off when they feel sick, or need to take care of a family member.  Workers must choose between their health or their paycheck leading to many consequences, such as workers becoming increasingly ill or having to take time off without pay hurting their family financially.

A few years ago, the Healthy Families Act was introduced in Congress which requires businesses with 15 or more employees to provide up to 7 days of paid sick leave each year.  Three components of the bill are of significant benefit to women as the paid leave covers: recovery from routine illness or care for an ill family member; doctor’s appointments and other preventative care; and time spent seeking help and services for victims of domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault.

Building off the national campaign to pass the Healthy Families Act, states and cities are following suit with support for paid sick leave for workers.  For example, Connecticut has just become the first state in the nation to pass paid sick days legislation that will ensure workers will be able to take paid time off to recover when they are sick or to care for a sick family member.  There are three cities, San Francisco, Washington, DC, and Milwaukee where employees and their families benefit from some form of paid sick leave.  The Mayor of  Philadelphia recently vetoed paid sick leave legislation passed by the City Council.

According to a new study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, San Francisco’s mandatory sick-leave law has wide acceptance among employees and employers.  IWPR’s survey found that two-thirds of employers support the San Francisco law, and only 1 in 7 employers complained that it affected their profitability.  The typical worker covered by the law used only three sick days per year and one quarter of employees took no time off for illness.

There is growing support for policies, such as paid sick leave, that protect the health of workers and their families to reflect the economic realities of family life today.  Now that women make up almost half of the workforce, most families with children have two working parents and growing numbers of workers care for an aging parent, few can afford to lose a day’s pay because they stayed home sick or cared for a sick loved one.

In addition to Connecticut, action is expected soon on paid sick leave measures around the county in a number of cities and states that have robust coalitions and advocacy efforts including Seattle, and Denver.  In New York City, Massachusetts, Georgia, California and a dozen other states and cities, coalitions are actively building support for similar measures.

With these positive developments, stay tuned to hear more about states and cities supporting this sensible, long overdue measure to help workers balance their lives and take care of their families while still being able to afford it.

Posted in Advocacy, Families, Health, Successful Workplaces, Worklife Balance | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Gen Y Women Workplace Survey Deadline Extended to June 30th

Posted by knbarrett on June 1, 2011

BPW Foundation would like to thank the many women who have completed the Gen Y Women in the Workplace survey and announce an extension of the survey’s deadline for those who have not yet had an opportunity to participate.

More than 480 Gen Y (born 1978-1994) women have already taken the survey but we want to hear from more of you. Your responses will help BPW Foundation develop tools that will assist employers recruit, support and retain young women like yourself. BPW Foundation is committed to working with women and employers to transform the workplace.

In order to provide additional opportunities to those who would like to complete a survey, the following link will be operational until Thursday, June 30th.

http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/WEB22C8VZPBCW3

We appreciate you taking time to participate in this survey and want to add an incentive to complete it. All survey participants, who provide their email address, will be entered in a drawing for a $75 Amazon gift card. (You must complete the entire survey to be entered in the drawing.) Those who have already taken the survey and provided their e-mail are automatically entered.  The winner of the gift card will be announced on Friday, July 1st.


Posted in Career Advancement, Gen Y, Gen Yner, Research, Worklife Balance | Leave a Comment »

Attention Gen Y Women! Survey Invitation

Posted by knbarrett on May 10, 2011

Gen Y Women – Let your voice be heard by taking our online survey. Business and Professional Women’s (BPW) Foundation is currently researching Generation Y women in the workplace.  While much has been written about how Gen Y is changing the workplace, far less has been written about Gen Y women’s unique workplace challenges and opportunities.

BPW Foundation wants to understand what you need to be successful in the workplace and then translate that knowledge into tools that improve how employers recruit, support and retain women like yourself. BPW Foundation recognizes that understanding and addressing your needs is critical for employers wanting to maintain a competitive edge.

BPW Foundation has a respected history of researching workforce issues and practices that lead to a successful workplace. Successful Workplaces are those that embrace and practice diversity, equity and work-life balance. Our research provides employers and policy makers with insights on the needs and challenges of key groups of working women with a variety of skills, education and training.

Feel freed to forward the survey to Gen Y women that you know – colleagues, friends and family members. For the purpose of this survey, BPW Foundation is defining Gen Y as individuals born between the years of 1978 and 1990.

The survey will remain open until Tuesday, May 31st at midnight EDT.  As they say do it now!

Posted in Gen Y, multigenerational, Research, Successful Workplaces, Uncategorized, Worklife Balance | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Gen Y Women: Does this sound like you?

Posted by knbarrett on April 26, 2011

Over the last year, we have benefited from and appreciated expressions of interest by Gen Y women in BPW Foundation’s Young Careerist Research Project. Thank you to everyone who has provided us with information and feedback. The result of our last round of research is the new BPW Foundation publication – “Gen Y Women in the Workplace.”

The report summarizes key findings from a series of employer-based focus groups conducted with Gen Y women and their managers. Through the focus groups, we sought to move beyond stereotypes on Gen Y and better understand your workplace needs and priorities.

We know that our sample was limited and may not reflect the broader population of Gen Y women. So, here is your chance to tell us what we got right and what we got wrong. Here are the top 20 characteristics of Gen Y women based on our report. Does this sound like you?

Gen Y Women : Top 20 Characteristics

1. You’re tired of the “live to work/work to live” debate. You have one life and work is an integral part of that life.

2. You assume that work does not have to be drudgery. In fact, you expect to enjoy your work.

3. You believe that having a successful career means making an impact.

4. You don’t want to have to forfeit or neglect other areas of your life (e.g. family, friends, hobbies, volunteering, spirituality, etc.) to excel professionally.

5. You’re looking less for a particular work-life policy or program and more for an overhaul of the workplace structure – today’s workplace should match today’s workforce!

6. You feel that work-life programs and policies are often limited to women with children.

7. You feel that existing work-life programs and tools do not necessarily provide an enabling environment for women with children.

8. You value self-direction, results-orientation, and advancement opportunities.

9. You are driven more by intrinsic rewards (sense of satisfaction) than by extrinsic rewards (money).

10. You are able to do your best at work when you: know what’s expected of you, have autonomy over your work, receive frequent performance feedback, have open communication channels with your manager and co-workers, know that your voice is heard, and receive competitive compensation.

11. You’ve observed generational differences at work but don’t believe that they are insurmountable.

12. You often feel that your actions and decisions are doubly judged. Not only are you young, but you are a young woman.

13. You appreciated older colleagues for their: professional experience, institutional knowledge, and broader perspective.

14. You feel that Gen Y women can teach older colleagues how to be: flexible, open to new ideas, and embrace change.

15. You don’t always know how to capitalize on the experiences and knowledge of older colleagues.

16.  You are optimistic about your workplace prospects, but don’t consider the workplace to be gender neutral.

17. You believe that you can do anything, but it doesn’t mean you won’t have to overcome some hurdles because you are a woman.

18. You experience performance pressure in the workplace. If you want to gain recognition, you feel you have to be a “rock star.”

19. You are frustrated and worried that you may have to choose between work and family in the future.

20. You feel that women have been welcomed into the workplace, but the structure and rules haven’t changed to facilitate their success in the workplace.

So. . . how did we do? Of the 20, how many did we get right? Let us know. Leave a comment or email youngcareerist@bpwfoundation.org.

We’ve only just begun to scratch the surface on workplace issues of importance to Gen Y women. That’s why we want to corroborate and build upon our preliminary findings through a national survey on Gen Y women in the workplace. Stay tuned to learn more about how you can participate!

Posted in Gen Y, Gen Yner, multigenerational, Research, Successful Workplaces, Workforce Development/HR, Worklife Balance | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Women Business Ownership Changing the Rules of the Game

Posted by ptanji on April 18, 2011

I just listened on National Public Radio to Donald Trump’s quasi announcement of his intention to run for president in 2012.  He says and I’m paraphrasing: “I know business people in New York.  They are ruthless, cutthroat, and I want them negotiating for this country.”  He says America is too soft when it comes to negotiating.

Oh dear lord, help me to love Donald Trump and all business people who run their companies this way.  If women want to change the way the business world works we have to start our own businesses.  Imagine our own workplaces where we recognize the needs of men, women and their children by embracing their whole selves at work – by recognizing that women breast feed and care for their children and sometimes the children just might have to come to work with us (cutthroat – I don’t think so).  The marketplace is not run by hearts — its run by heads like that of Donald Trump, who view employees as pawns in a chess game.   Manipulating employees every move — using a paycheck as a carrot — to ensure a winning strategy.  And, let there be no mistake.  Business is a game.    A game that women did not create and were not invited to when the wheels  of free market, trade, etc. were put into motion hundreds of years ago.

Its going to take guts to change the rules.  And, its going to require women (and men too) to do business together to change the rules. Trying to sell products to the status quo isn’t going to cut it. Asking the status quo to hire more women in leadership, to place them on boards isn’t going to cut it.  I just read the  The Women in Leadership, April 2011 report which notes:  “stalled progress and missed opportunities. Only eight of the Minnesota’s top 100 publicly held companies experienced a net gain in women corporate directions in 2010”.   Gee — I think we’ve heard that song before.  Time to change the tune.

Women have to take the lead of business owners like Tami Simon of Sounds True, Colorado, Ni Suphavong, of Jade Logistics, Minnesota, Kim Jordon, New Belgium Brewing Company, Colorado.  These women are game changers! At Simons place of business you will find infants, and dogs!  At Jade Logistics, you will see a business model where the community is very much a stakeholder in the success of the business.  At New Belgium Brewing Company you will find a culture that is passionate about the environment.  These women and their companies are not intimidated by the “‘cutthroat, ruthless” dealings of the Donald Trumps of the world.

In the 1980’s, we business women, donned our business suits and floppy bow ties.  Today, we wear flamboyant scarves, 5 inch heels, and low necklines.  But, its going to take more than a costume change to move women into the corporate suites.  Its’ going to take a movement of brave, beautiful, strong women ready to bring their hearts and sometimes even their children to work.  Let the new games begin!

Posted in Feminism, Successful Workplaces, Worklife Balance | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »