Ah, women and leadership.
It’s all the buzz these days. Everywhere we turn we hear another story about a woman rising to the top. Like you, I’m thrilled to see women making so many breakthroughs in their professional lives. But despite all of the rhetoric around work and family, these narratives often forget to include answers to the BIG question: “How did she do it (or is doing it, for that matter)?”
Our work-first national narrative offers us black and white tales of the person who, with singular focus, worked their way up the ladder and is now the CEO, Managing Partner, Head of this or that. And while we certainly need more women leaders, we need the truth of their paths to offer models for us all because when you drill into these success narratives, you see that life is much more nuanced.
Often, you’ll uncover stories of successful women (and men) who voluntarily paused or pulled back their careers in order to deal with the curve balls of life. Sometimes they paused to focus on kids, sometimes to care for ailing parents, sometimes they paused so they could travel around the world or pursue a passion. These pauses didn’t last a lifetime, they were part of the arc of a career.
Sadly, we are taught to hide these “holes” in our resume as though they don’t enable us to build skills and abilities that will be valued in the workplace. Work itself provides little room for us to be fully authentic when we are forced to hide that which we most deeply value.
“Working mother” and “Stay-At-Home mother” are terms that don’t truly speak to the give and take of our realities, but they do create silos and hostility and judgement around our choices. We all know the end result: The Mommy Wars.
Work Pause Thrive offers insight into how trailblazing women have managed to integrate their work + life priorities. It debunks the myth that if you pull back, even briefly, your career will end in shambles. It focuses on how you can lead your best life by offering recommendations and tips on conscious career planning that incorporates your personal desires with your professional ambitions. Finally, Work Pause Thrive provides a call to action to demand broader solutions for both women and men in the workplace.