With First Lady Michelle Obama leading the charge to put the struggle for work/life balance front and center, the issue is finally getting top-level attention.
Although both men and women in American society are overstretched (working two weeks longer per year than their Japanese counterparts and several weeks more than Europeans), it is women who bear the greatest burden of trying to be all things to all people. Stress is prevalent as women strive to parcel out portions of time to the spouse, children, aging parents, their communities, and lastly…themselves.
A whopping 87 percent of polled women would like more equilibrium between the competing areas of their lives. Two professionals, at the highest echelon of achievement, have entered the conversation with their new book Womenomics. Co-authors Katty Kay (BBC) and Claire Shipman (Good Morning America) have subtitled their insights, Write your own rules for success; How to stop juggling and struggling and finally start living and working the way you really want.
The writers posit that “womenomics” will benefit the “entire working world,” and that there is a “brewing workplace revolution.” They point to the benefit of flexibility over promotions, the value of time as the “new currency,” and espouse a phrase redefining the old “having it all” as “The New All.” Kay, the Washington correspondent and anchor for BBC World News America, is the mother of four. Shipman, the senior national correspondent for ABC News’ Good Morning America, is the mother of two. The women undertook the book in response to a confluence of factors.