Tag Archives: leadership

What Really and Truly Keeps Women Away from Pay Parity

Okay. I’m warning you. This post is not politically correct.

Yesterday I spent a lot of time reading student blog posts. I really enjoyed that and got a better idea of what they think and how they think.

The big surprise to me was reading about women being marginalized. Some of these female students feel oppressed because they are female. The evidence they give is the statistic about women earning less than men for the same job.

It may be true that women often earn less than men for the same job, otherwise why would 75%  of the recent job cuts go to men? They’re more expensive.

The answer though is not really men oppressing women, as least in the United States.

I thought that poor horse had been pummeled to death already.

Consider the examples of how the following women treat themselves. I’m not condemning them, I used to do similar things myself. But, the fact is, in 2010 women still do things like….

– Make the beds for their teen-age sons.

– Divorce an alcoholic husband and then move in with an alcoholic boyfriend.

– Work 60 hours a week when paid for 40 hours, “because that’s what it takes to get the job done.”

– Put gasoline in the BMW while teenage son watches, listening to his Ipod.

– Won’t allow the husband to change diapers for the twins because he doesn’t do it right.

– Fail to take care of their health because they’re “too busy.”

Are you gonna tell me that these women are marginalized? Or are they marginalizing themselves?

I used to subordinate my input into daily decisions to my husband’s wishes on a regular basis. Just one example, I never thought of the income I earned as “mine” and never spent much of it on myself. The thing is, then I resented hardly ever having new clothes and was perpetually waiting for permission to buy them.

Now, there is a nobility in service to others. But only when it comes from joy and strength, not when one’s self-worth depends on outside approval.

If you don’t deeply value yourself, how can you expect others to value you? What do you think about this?


How to Be a Happy Heretic: 21 Ways

This morning I showed some students a talk by Seth Godin on his book, Tribes. (I highly recommend this book, btw.)

A happy heretic is someone who trusts herself enough to go against the grain, or contradict societal expectations, for the greater good. A happy heretic makes the world a better place.

21 Ways to Be a Happy Heretic. (Mostly I’ve done these.)

1. Take your kids out of school for a year and learn new stuff with them. I promise they’ll recover; you’ll have  phenomenal and memorable experience to share.

2. Resign from your job. A close colleague,  let’s call herTaKwanza, just did this. And she is in spitting distance from getting tenure at a big university in another part of the country. I’m so proud because she knows she is meant to contribute in a different way, not because there’s something wrong with where she is.

If you’re only there for the benefits, you really want to think about that.

3. Move to the city of your dreams….even if you don’t have a secure job there.

4. Start your own business. It doesn’t have to support you right away.

5. Write in your journal. Describe your ideal day, as if you had just lived it.

6. Spend some time in silence.

7. Invest in yourself. Hire a coach.

8. Decide that the best way to spread happiness is to be happy.

9. Get your colors done.

10. Start a blog.

11. Get a professional photo taken.

12. Work 2 days a week from home.

13. Eat raw for a day. (That’s a great excuse for eating a whole avocado.)

14. Stop complaining and criticizing.

15. Pay for a month of yoga classes. (And go to the classes!)

16. Make one small improvement to your bedroom.

17. Decide on a theme for your life this year.

18. Give a party for no special reason.

19. Do something this week-end that’s not normal for you. (There are plenty of suggestions on this list!)

20. Make your kids responsible for preparing and serving one nice meal.

21. Take a 24-hour break from the computer. Or cell phone. Or both.