July 10th, 2013

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.

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