All Articles Tagged "career women"
Oh Friday, always the best day of the week. You’re about to get your freedom back, for at least a couple of days, and you’re ready to make the most of it. But if you could just get out of work or make it through happy hour! Here are nine things that go through our minds on a Friday, and chances are, at least a few run through yours as well. Have a great weekend dolls!
According to recent Census Bureau numbers, more women are working later in their pregnancies than ever. Sixty-six percent of women who gave birth between 2006 and 2008 did so after working during their pregnancy versus 44 percent of women between 1961 and 1965. Moreover 82 percent of those pregnant women between 2006 and 2008 worked almost until they actually had the baby, a month or less. That figure was 35 percent between 1961 and 1965 and 73 percent between 1991 and 1995.
These statistics have repercussions for the babies that are born. A U.K. study finds that going to work at the eighth month is as bad as smoking. (!!) And a separate study found that women who work and spend a lot of time on their feet have smaller babies.
The Grindstone points to a couple of reasons for this trend: more women are working now than in the 1960s and many more are breadwinners for their families. We’ll add to that the fact that there are many more women who have businesses or careers that would be impacted by a lengthy maternity leave — promotions that will go to other people, missed developments at the company or in the industry while a new mom is at home with her baby. There are simply more women trying to do it all in order to have it all.
Of course this idea of “having it all” has been a big topic recently. We touched on ourselves: “Skill, perseverance, and ambition can be fulfilled,” we wrote. “You just may have to fulfill it by following your own unique path. It may take longer to get where you want in your career. Others may give you the side-eye for choosing family over that work conference. But in the end, it will all be worth it.” This new evidence that overdoing it can have medical repercussions for the baby is just one more incentive for taking your time and truly finding that balance.
“ …[I]f you’re realistic yet optimistic about your goals, you’ll do that in a manner that does allow you to have it all, because what ‘it all’ means is positioned in a framework that is attainable,”Laysha Ward, chair of the Executive Leadership Foundation, recently told The Root. Indeed.
Marissa Mayer started her new job as CEO of Yahoo this week, the fifth person to hold the position in as many years. The news made headlines as the 37-year-old former Google exec is now one of the biggest players, man or woman, in technology specifically and corporate America in general. She’s got some big issues to handle in the new post. Advertisers have fled, the brand and its reputation is in shambles, and the internal state of the company is a mess.
But Mayer also made news this week for something completely separate: she announced that she’s six months pregnant and doesn’t plan to take a proper maternity leave. The decision reignited the question of how women can achieve a work-life balance.
The Atlantic recently published what has become the most-read story in the history of the publication, “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All.” The author, Anne-Marie Slaughter, is a Princeton University academic, a writer and speaker, and was the first female director of policy planning at the State Department. This story has landed her a book deal. The basic premise of the article is this: Slaughter discovered that she couldn’t have a high-powered Washington D.C. job and still be the mother of two teenage sons in Princeton, N.J.
“I believe that we can ‘have it all at the same time,’” she writes. “But not today, not with the way America’s economy and society are currently structured. My experiences over the past three years have forced me to confront a number of uncomfortable facts that need to be widely acknowledged—and quickly changed.”
Among the facts: educated, professional women who are sharing child-rearing responsibilities with a partner who is also an educated professional have more options (and more money). Technology and the passage of time have helped, but traditional ideas about working life persist even as society changes. This makes it harder for women overall, and especially for those who don’t have the extra hands and income that would make “having it all” easier.
Slaughter praises the “discipline and sheer endurance” that moms/career women have always dug deep to find and put to use. But she also gushes about knowing what you want and working towards that. This may be the best piece of advice in her lengthy article. Skill, perseverance, and ambition can be fulfilled. You just may have to fulfill it by following your own unique path. It may take longer to get where you want in your career. Others may give you the side-eye for choosing family over that work conference. But in the end, it will all be worth it.
With so many modern women rising through the professional ranks, we will be having the “work-life balance” discussion for some time to come. But slowly, it looks like things are changing. After all, we now have lots of dads who share domestic responsibilities. And a major tech company with a list of problems decided it would be in their best interests to hire a woman who’s about three months from giving birth to steer them into a bright and lucrative future.
There are few businesswomen that make it to the top of the nation’s largest corporations and even fewer women of color at the top. Often times these women fight hard to make a name for themselves but find when they decide to step down, their legacy is lost in the media write up of their failures. Writer and Gen Y Consultant Erica Dhawan cautions young women entering the corporate world to think twice before judging their women mentors. The media’s criticism of these powerful women often ignores the contributions these women have made to a company.
Take for instance Erin Callan, the former chief financial officer at Lehman Brothers right before its fall from the economic crisis. She was promoted too late to be able to save the firm and was publically criticized and ridiculed for her poor performance during her six months in the CFO position.
What the media failed to mention was her hard work and loyalty to the company since 1995, and how she was able to rise quickly to the top while still making time to talk with junior women at the firm to advise them on their career paths.
Then there was Sallie Krawcheck, the former Bank of America exec who supposedly “died like a man” according to Business Insider. Krawcheck had been supposedly forced out of Bank of America but her strong will and assertiveness on Wall Street throughout her career had been forgotten.
Carol Bartz was instrumental in doubling Yahoo’s operational income and margins, but was instead remembered for cursing in the workplace.
When these top businesswomen fall, young women often look down upon them and shake their heads, forgetting how hard these women worked.
Dhawan reminds young women that, “being a woman leader is about speaking and embodying what you believe, not just accommodating to an organization’s culture or pursuing media rewards.”
Have any women executives and leaders helped you along your professional journey? What can you learn from their legacy?
In the workplace, you hope to step foot into a cooperative, easy-going setting, with personable yet professional co-workers. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t happen like that a lot of times and you end up having to keep your cool with ridiculous people just to keep your check coming in every two weeks. Here are the different types of difficult characters you may encounter at the job and how to deal with them:
By Andrea Williams
In her 10-plus years in the music industry, Erica Grayson worked her way from receptionist to top A&R exec at Interscope Records, rubbing elbows with heavy-hitters like Jimmy Iovine along the way. Today she is a self-professed “entertainment entrepreneur,” and she spends her days guiding the careers of uber-successful songwriters and producers including Jim Jonsin and Rico Love.
We recently had a chance to speak with Ms. Grayson about the people that inspire her most, why she believes the business of music and the business of selling records are mutually exclusive and why there is no substitute for good, old-fashioned hard work.
How did you get started in the music industry?
I got my first gig when I was in college, and I was answering phones for Jive Records on the West coast. That was officially my first paid job, and I was really fortunate because, since the office was a satellite to the New York office, it was really small. So, in addition to answering phones, I was doing everything. I was sending out records to the promo department, listening to music from the listening department, planning parties for artists, finding new writers and producers and setting up collaborations – I really did everything. It allowed me to get involved in many different aspects of the business, and I was so passionate about music that I wanted do everything anyway.
What was your first major career break?
I have to say that all along I’ve been really blessed. But I think that I – along with so many other women – used to underestimate myself a lot. Even though I had done so many different things just working as a “receptionist” at Jive, when a real job opportunity came along I kind of thought, ‘That really sounds like the perfect job and something I’d love to do, but I don’t know if I can do it or if I’ve had the right experience.’ I really started questioning myself a lot.
So there was a job at Sony Music Publishing as a Creative Manager, which was the first level executive that signs writers and producers, exploits catalogs and things like that. At that time it sounded like a million percent of what I wanted to do. My first thought was that I wasn’t ready and it sounded like a big responsibility. But I went for it, and after I interviewed I realized that I really wanted it. And although at the time I think there were probably people that had more experience than I did, I was very fortunate that the woman who was running the company at the time just saw my tenacity and saw that I could probably do whatever I put my mind to – and she gave me a shot. And that was really my first big break because I went from basically being an assistant to having an assistant.
By Sheryl Nance-Nash
Dr. Yvonne S. Thornton has seen her share of adversity over the course of her three decade career in the medical industry. But she’s always fought back, as evidenced by her awe-inspiring career accomplishments, including becoming the first African-American woman in the U.S. to be board-certified in high-risk obstetrics, and to be accepted into the New York Obstetrical Society. She also rose to the faculty rank of professor of clinical obstetrics and gynecology when only 12 percent of female physicians attain this rank. A double-board certified specialist in obstetrics, gynecology and maternal-fetal medicine, Thornton says it was more of her gender, not race, which made her colleagues nervous. “They would rather work with a male of any race, even though [as a woman] you are more qualified.”
There’s no shortage of these stories in her book, Something to Prove: A Daughter’s Journey to Fulfill a Father’s Legacy, which was released in December 2010 and is the follow-up to her bestselling novel and later movie, The Ditchdigger’s Daughters. The Ditchdigger’s Daughters relayed the story of her father who moved his family from the tenements in Harlem to a small house in New Jersey that he built with his own hands from materials bought on a ditchdigger’s salary. His dream was that all his daughters (5 biological and 1 foster) would become respected doctors because he believed having that title would shield them from prejudice. Despite obstacles, four of his five biological daughters became doctors.
We spoke to Thornton about what it took to bring her father’s vision to fruition, her career and her family.
With all your accomplishments, the title of your book is a little puzzling. Do you still feel that you have something to prove?
All my life, I’ve been doing something outside of what a black woman was supposed to be doing. The book is a roadmap to encourage young women to follow their dreams. Women in my age group (60s) chose to have a career or a family, you didn’t do both. [But] I did. The book is about letting women know that they can do what they want.
You began your career as an assistant professor in OB-GYN and clinic director at New York Hospital/Cornell Medical Center. What were your early days like?
On my first day at Cornell I walked up to the reception desk in the OB-GYN department and introduced myself to one of the secretaries. I explained [that] I was the new staff doctor in maternal-fetal medicine. [The secretary] did a double-take before she told me to have a seat and wait. Conversations around us stopped. Several people walking by perked up as I announced myself. They weren’t rude, but it was clear I’d caught everyone by surprise. I was the only black person in sight. This was 1982, when a woman obstetrician was still a rarity; a black woman obstetrician was even more unusual. There was no space for me in the department’s office, so I got an office in the dismal sub-basement where the clinic hadn’t been updated since the 1930s. The walls were battleship gray and cold. I had no operating budget and was expected to teach, run the clinic and establish a private practice.
Every business woman’s inspiration, Oprah Winfrey, turns 57 today! Happy birthday, madame! Oprah has been a national figure for a quarter of a century and her amazing story of going from a poor, abused little girl to a billionaire media mogul is the stuff of legend.
Black voices put together a “This is Your Life” video for Oprah. Check it out!
What do you think Oprah is doing with her birthday? Buying an island? Making a few friends millionaires? If you had Oprah dough, what would you do on your birthday?
After sending out 10 million resumes, going to countless networking events and spending way too much time on Craigslist, you have finally snagged an interview for a corporate job that can help you beat down that student loan debt. Now, what should you wear?
AOL Black Voices can help that with question! Click here to check out their corporate interview fashion tips!
Keeping track of the minor details can sometimes go out the window at the height of morning rush-hour. Mini-disasters pop up everyday at work. When those moments happen like torn pantyhose, a stress headache or when your morning updo becomes a drooping mess–trust in your office “emergency” kit. If you’re clueless on how to make it through the day in one piece, here are basic items you should have to survive in the office.
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