Learning to Lean

Technology has turned the world on its head in more ways than we count. With the wealth of advantages technology has introduced to the modern person’s life, the inability to “clock out” may be its kryptonite. Constant email access, instant messaging capabilities, and even location tracking being commonplace, it’s nearly impossible to truly step away from your work.

No matter what gender you identify as, this permanently “on” culture is harmful to mental and physical health. For women, particularly, this pressure coincides with the ever-present expectation to be a fully “on” mother and/or wife.

When an ultimatum is presented of either leaning into work, or family, both sides lose. Beyond the physical and mental implications, this burden of choice can ultimately steer women out of the workforce.  In Melinda Gates’ analysis of this conundrum, she approaches the workforce not from the entrant pipeline, but the exit. Why are people, especially women, leaving once they get in?

As the workaholic culture runs rampant, the needs of children and families do not decrease. To keep the best talent in the workplace, there need to be systems in place that offer empathy, and support to employees who balance multiple pillars of their lives. No one should have to choose between excelling at work, or being fulfilled as a parent. To continue the discussion, read Melinda Gates’ recent LinkedIn column discussing the matter:

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