Work/Life Police?

Those who know me know I don't like the metaphor of work/life balance, but I DO like this ForbesWoman article by Sylvia Ann Hewlett about the actions of Joan Amble, an EVP, Corporate Comptroller at American Express.

Joan literally gave her staff their lives back:
  1. No email after 8:00pm
  2. Everyone leaving the office by 6:30
  3. No email on weekends
  4. Support for more efficient meetings
  5. and more
Good for her!

And, if you're interested ForbesWoman's Top 10 Unwritten Rules for Working Women take a look here. It's actually more of a list of subtle barriers that we encounter (related to the prior posting on the impact of attitudes towards women), but the article is illuminating nevertheless. For example:
"Men are bred for self-confidence. From Little League to fraternities to the golf course, men's lives emphasize competition. By the time they get to the workplace, they are seasoned competitors, with all of the self-confidence that comes from having successfully weathered both the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. Consider the consequences: One internal corporate study showed that women will apply for an open job only if they meet 100% of the criteria listed, while men will apply if they meet just 60%. In order to assume that same level of self-possession (and entitlement), you have to design your own path to self-confidence.

Women are rendered invisible until they demonstrate otherwise. If you want to be noticed, you've got to offer your ideas, approach a mentor, ask for the assignments, build a network, convey your aspirations and communicate your achievements. I've heard Sharon Allen, chairman of Deloitte LLP, tell this cautionary tale from her early career, when she was passed over for a promotion that she had earned. Allen asked why she had been passed over, since she had done X, Y and Z to earn it. "Oh," her boss replied, "I didn't realize that you'd done X, Y and Z ." It's one thing to lose the game because you were outperformed, but it's another thing altogether to lose because you were never in play."
Francesca Donner continues to do important work at ForbesWoman. Take a look and sign up for RSS feeds or news by email.

Lead ON!
Susan Colantuono is CEO of Leading Women and author of No Ceiling, No Walls (Dec 2009). She blogs on networking for PINK Magazine. Follow her on Twitter.
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