Please, no more studies about getting women to the top

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I hate to dis Catalyst because they have provided great research to support women in the work place. But here’s a bit from their most recent study: “Most large U.S. companies have made scant progress in advancing women…to leadership and top-paying positions over the past decade.”


It’s clear at this point that women are basically stuck on their climb up the corporate ladder. In general, climbing the corporate ladder to the top requires giving up your personal life in order to serve the corporation. And research has shown that if women are willing to give up having kids, (or at least have a stay-at-home husband,) they can climb as well as men.

But really, why fight to get more women up a ladder that is basically dysfunctional? We should, instead, focus on helping men to get off the ladder. And then helping both men and women to get meaningful and rewarding work both outside and inside the home.

The Third Path is a nonprofit that addresses these issues. It helps people “redesign work to better accommodate family, community and other life passions.” The interview I did with the founder, Jessica DeGroot , was truly inspiring and made me think about all the possibilities for being a social change leader with my own family.

Another way to address the issues of creating meaningful work inside and outside the home is to go to court. No joke. Lisa Belkin reports in today’s New York Times that a new category of discrimination suit being won is a suit in which plaintiffs claim discrimination at work because they are giving care at home. Mary Still, professor at University of California Hastings College of the Law, coined the term “family responsibilities discrimination,” and both men and women are winning their cases in this area: Hooray.

11 replies
  1. larry
    larry says:

    If the world of work followed people’s needs at home then getting men and women out of the rat race and climbing the corporate ladder might make sense.

    It doesn’t. The society’s wants or needs drives what businesses do. If one man or woman won’t get on the ladder, someone else will since there are many rewards when they do it – money, status, position in the company or society, have a group to hang with, one way to measure achievement, etc.

    It’s better to know what some of these activities do to us and find ways to coutnerbalance it. Less people work in the fields or the mines since machines now do a lot of some of the work. We have less people as cashiers at markets since scanners do so much more work qaicker. Technology helps us. Get on the ladder you want to climb – at work, in a corporation, non-profit, at home, etc. Choose wisely.

  2. Penelope Trunk
    Penelope Trunk says:

    This is good advice for people who want the things you mention: “money, status, position in the company and society.” But for a majority of people younger than 30, and a lot of people over 30, those goals are not high on the list of goals to attain.

  3. Ty Tribble - Work At Home Dad
    Ty Tribble - Work At Home Dad says:

    Penelope, first I want to thank you for linking to my site (I just found the link) and second I want to thank you for providing such a refreshing voice of reason.

    I am working hard to teach Men (and Women) that they have options in terms of Career choice. I wouldn’t trade working from home for any job in the world.

    You Rock!

  4. matchmaker
    matchmaker says:

    These sound like a good idea, but I wonder what happens when the dough you are rolling is wider than the rolling pin. Wouldn't the rings leave indentations, defeating what they are supposed to do? The only way I can see these working are 1)If the dough is narrower than your rolling pin or 2)You have a REALLY long rolling pin.

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