07.10.13 Truth & Wisdom

Women: Working for a Better World

Women: Working for a Better World

BY Janelle Malone

As modern women, we find ourselves living through an interesting phenomena – even though many of us don’t have to work, we still want to!

The common stereotype of wealthy women being no-more than ladies-of-leisure is quickly disappearing. A growing number of women are working because they want to, and it’s not just about making more money. This dynamic applies to women all over the world, regardless of nationality.

Society is Responding

Society has recognized the benefits of working women, regardless of age, sex or religion. Many women (in addition to being mothers and wives) are also born leaders. They are entrepreneurs, doctors, lawyers, and more. They hold the ambition and the drive required to succeed. In this decade, this trend is growing with over one billion women entering the workforce. This is what many are now calling the She-conomy.

A Woman’s Natural Abilities

Let’s consider the natural empathy that many women possess and how this translates into their working lives. Female bosses who care about nurturing their employees are much more likely to be respected than other bosses who aren’t in-tune with the wants and needs of their staff. Aside from management, women also excel in human resource departments because of their level of understanding.

We Don’t Have to Choose

We are living in a time when we can be both mothers and career women without having to sacrifice one over the other. Padma Lakshmi, an Indian-born American cookbook author, actress, model and television host believes, “It’s important for my daughter to see a productive, fulfilled woman who is dynamic and contributing to the community she lives in. I want to show Krishna that she can do anything she sets her mind to.”

Role Models

Huda Serhan is a Jordanian mother who has been working since she was 17. She explains why holding a job is incredibly important to her: “To me, it is a sense of achievement. It is also a responsibility. We are here to develop our nations and our economies and pave the way for a better world for our children. I want to be a role model for my children; I set the standards for them and they will follow and create their own ways,” she said in a recent article in The National.

When Work Takes Over

But what happens when that desire to work takes over: when women become workaholics and married to the job? Simply put, the family unit suffers, or the individual suffers. Our greatest assets such as our level of compassion can also become our greatest weakness. Many women suffered greatly during the crash in 2008, when left in senior roles with little or support after major redundancies took place; so did their families. As nurturers and caregivers, we put in and give it our all. At times like these, we need to be mindful of our own limits and at what expense to our own health can the job be well done.

The Key to Balance

The key to balancing your work and your life is really about listening to ‘your’ inner voice – not the expectations of what you think others expect of you. At times, it can take courage to speak up and communicate your needs or define your boundaries. But a happy, healthy worker is more efficient than one who burns the midnight oil and eventually burns outherself.

Amanda de Cadenet, recently had this to say in Harper’s Bazaar about following life’s passions: “Isn’t it interesting that many of the women who were interviewed on the show — Alicia Keys, Jane Fonda, Gwyneth Paltrow — all said a version of the same thing? ‘Listen to your voice. Listen to your inner guide.’”

I believe that society as a whole is moving forward, and by working together we are creating a better world for our children. But we must keep the conversation going. We must dig deeper and learn what is it that we can do to create an even better future for tomorrow.

Janelle Malone has a lot to shout about on being financially savvy in real girl terms. After 14 years in retail development, she knows all the tricks of the trade. Now she's sharing her take on living smart and financially free, talking to women all over the world about money and style on her website and blog, womenmoneyandstyle.com or on Twitter at @WomenMoneyStyle.

Comments

  • Jen

    I have to say that I disagree with your leading statement: “As modern women, we find ourselves living through an interesting
    phenomena – even though many of us don’t have to work, we still want to!” I don’t believe this to be 100% true. I find that there are just as many women who would prefer to be home with their children than out in the workforce but have to work because their family unit can not financially survive without two incomes. And it doesn’t seem like that will change any time soon. On a personal level, if I were married with children, I would prefer to be at home with them than in the workforce because I want my potential daughters to know that they have the CHOICE to be ANYTHING that they way – if they want to work, work; if they don’t want to work, stay at home with your children. I also want to be the main role model for my children not some celebrity or athlete. While I think that it is wonderful that women are now in so many different jobs, I think that there also is still a place for the stay at home mom who puts her family before herself. I don’t think there should be a stigma toward stay at home moms like there has been in the last few years. So much for feminism.

    • The Conversation

      Great observation, Jen. Thank you for sharing your experience and contributing to the Conversation!

    • I fully agree with you on this one .

    • Janelle Malone

      Just in relation to the comment from MEL and Amanda agreeing that this statement isn’t true. It’s easy to write an article complaining that women have to work to pay the bills and they don’t want too, that has been done 1000 times. In this article I just wanted to make the point that many women are working for our society as whole to make it a better place.

      There are many women contributing to society in profound ways when they don’t have to. My gynecologist recently told me about her study to be a doctor, it wasn’t easy she has 3 kids and with her husbands support she got through medical school with a family. She did for women to be teated by women and enjoy the care of a female in this profession. There were times when she stayed home to be with her kids later. But her husband supported all throughout her study and career. She and many other women don’t work for the money, they work for the world. This article was written for them! J xx

  • Kimberly

    Hmm I have another opinion to offer: as a Mum of three girls I work 2 days per week and the girls go to day care. My work barely covers the daycare costs, however it’s a chance for my girls to socialise, and it works wonders for my sense of balance and creativity. I feel I’m a better Mum because of my work days. The other 5 days, I’m with my daughters 24/7 as my husband works long hours. I work because I want to and I think I’m raising my girls to see that THEY can be anything they want to be.
    I acknowledge that for some, there is no choice, however I don’t think the point of the article was purely to challenge, or feminism.

    • Janelle Malone

      Hi Kimberly, I am sure your daughters will become exactly who THEY want to be, coupled with life’s lessons along the way. You’re right the point of the article was to highlight that we have a CHOICE today. Many women who walked before us, didn’t have a choice to work and it was certainly not a done thing if they had money and didn’t ‘need’ too. Society as a whole truly benefits from people who are living and contributing for the love of the job. Janelle xoxo

  • amanda3838

    Great article Janelle. For me it is somewhere in between. The money I make definitely makes a difference to our lifestyle but I also love my work and want to show my girls that both is possible. Yes of course there are many times I wish I could spend more time at home but whenever I have chosen that path I end up returning to work for mental stimulation. My work is meaningful and I have spent a lot of energy getting my ducks in a row so I can work part time effectively. I think it will be interesting to see what our daughters chose to do when the time comes.

    • Janelle Malone

      Amanda33838, Thanks for your feedback. It will be interesting to see the choices that our daughters make and their opinion of our working. Its a smart move to get your ducks in a row, I find that I am working on that one everyday! Janelle xoxo

  • Nicola Alexander

    Ladies there is no reason why we have to. Family, community involvement, sports are all activities that promote health and wellness. If you can’t be a “Sheryl Sandberg” – just be the best you. Take one action at a time, to elevate the lives of the people around you. Do it for you. Best2U

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