As women, we all have numerous complaints about our bodies. The number of complaints probably increase after giving birth to a baby. I loved my belly while I was pregnant, was amazed at how perfect the human body is, but constantly complain mentally and verbally about my post baby body.

Like the author of this article, I believe 100%  in girl power, self-esteem, internal beauty, you name it. But I also believe that the way you feel about yourself, including your looks, influence your self esteem and how you project yourself onto others. That this influences how you relate to people, make new friends, ace interviews and get jobs.

I cannot imagine how difficult it will be to not send mixed messages to my kids.

I do hope I will be able to communicate verbally and through example, that health includes mind, body and soul. That exercise is good for you and that it makes you happy and feel great about yourself. That being smart and having diverse interests as a girl is important in a society that links women almost always to looks and fashion. That fashion is very cool, that cooking is very cool and that debating is very cool too. I hope I’ll be able to teach my kids what my favorite new book I read to my son says: “Thank you for the skin I came in, it’s nice and tight, it fits exaclty right. Thank you for me.”(The title of the book is “Thank you for me”).

Being a parent is tough. Being a mother is tougher (I’m just slightly biased). I hear it’s tougher to raise girls than boys. Who knows…

I will definitely read and re-read this mother’s response, print it and bookmark it for when my nieces and unborn daughters tell me “I’m fat.”

Coolest stuff.

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About work, women and MBAs

December 15, 2011

As you’ve also probably wondered, I have also given much thought to why there are few women who reach top executive positions. Biology most likely plays a role as do other reasons that are sometimes difficult to understand.

The following article titled “Of MBAs and motherhood” from The Economist explains:

“The reasons are complex, but a few stick out. First, work in most organisations is structured in ways that were established many decades ago, when married men were the breadwinners and most married women stayed at home. Yet even though the great majority of families no longer fit that pattern, most workplaces have failed to take the change on board. They think they are being egalitarian by treating women exactly the same as men, but women’s circumstances are often different… 

[T]hough biology need not be destiny, it would be silly to pretend that having babies has no effect on women’s careers. Although women now have children later and in smaller numbers, they often start thinking about having a family just at the time when career-oriented people are scrambling madly to get to the top of their particular tree.”

I invite you to read the article and if you are in a position to help your female  employees to better “balance” their work and the rest of their responsibilities, perhaps the few days you’ll take off during the Holidays are a wonderful moment to reflect, make some changes and make an impact on the people that matter to you – assuming your employees matter to you.

Cool stuff.

So this is a blog for mothers, mothers are women. Mothers have sons or daughters.

If you are a mother, of either a boy, girl or both, this is a must see documentary: Miss Representation.

It’s crazy to realize how media shapes our idea of everything pretty much – as well as of what women are, how they should behave and what they should look like.

I wonder if this is what stops young women to get promoted in jobs or if what is portrayed in the media is what men think of women. “You can’t be what you can’t see.” (I know this is a generalization, several exceptions exist.)

I have utmost respect for women leaders, they have gone so far. I definitely don’t think it’s a battle against men – unless of course a man thinks that the “downside” about having a woman as president  is “the PMS and the mood swings” – it’s just a necessity to bring both men and women’s opinions, views, votes, representation, and leadership to the table.

During my work experience, I’ve had the privilege of sitting on board of directors meetings (unfortunately not as a director, but as part of the team that reports to them) on two of my jobs. I was the only woman out of 6 men on the first one and for almost two years, I was the only woman  out of 11 men on the second one, until another woman got promoted and then we were two women out of 11 men. That is only 16% and 18% respectively of women seats surrounded by 83% of men seats on board meetings. This is only from my humble experience in a developing country, who has had a woman as vice-president by the way.

Now imagine the impact the lack of “representation” has on policy on women’s issues,  decisions in general, company’s policies on salaries, policies on flex-time, part-time, maternity and paternity leave, to name a few. Think of how our sons and daughters will grow up with a distorted view of women and what they will expect from their life partners when they choose one, if many companies’ and institutions’ decisions are made mostly by men.

Something is very wrong with these pictures, don’t you think? Let’s think of how we as women and mothers are role models to the kids who surround us.

I invite you to take the pledge when you click here. Women are indeed misrepresented.

Cool stuff.

About Happiness

October 26, 2011

I thought this was a cool post on modernmom.com.
There are tons of happiness experts out there, yet, many of us have one or a few in our own homes…

I bet you have tried to refocus your energy while playing with your kids this way, if not, here is a cool approach:

http://www.modernmom.com/blogs/princess-ivana-pignatelli/create-happiness-for-you-and-your-kids


“Las organizaciones modernas son flexibles con su gente clave”, me dijo un día uno de mis jefes. Pero, ¿a dónde están esas organizaciones modernas? ¿Por qué somos tantas las mujeres con una buena educación que buscamos un buen trabajo que se amolde a nuestras vidas?

Inicié pláticas con otras mujeres que han pasado por ese primer día de regreso al trabajo después de la maternidad. No viene al caso si a las mujeres les gusta regresar a trabajar o lo hacen porque deben hacerlo, pero me impresionó la desesperanza con lo que muchas me decían que no hay otras opciones en este ambiente de trabajo: prácticamente o te quedas en casa, empiezas tu propio negocio o regresas a tu trabajo. Me reusé a quedarme conforme, y así fue como descubrí el programa desarrollado por la famosa empresa consultora Deloitte: Mass Career Customization (MCC) o Personalización Masiva de la Carrera.

Resulta que igual como Nike le permite a sus consumidores personalizar sus zapatos, Delloite argumenta que las carreras profesionales se pueden hacer “a la medida” según el período de la vida en el que se encuentra el empleado. MCC, busca alinear el lugar de trabajo con la “no tradicional” fuerza de trabajo de hoy. Concuerdo con lo que argumenta la compañía- el concepto de la familia y las necesidades de las personas han cambiado hoy en día y van cambiando según los diferentes períodos de la vida en los que nos encontramos, pero los trabajos no han cambiado (o muy pocos han cambiado) ¿Por qué?

Delloite explica que MCC no se trata solamente en ser una solución para las mujeres por el tema de la maternidad, si no, es una solución a una realidad de hombres y mujeres profesionales. Hay 6 tendencias de la fuerza de trabajo actual que Delloite tomó en cuenta: el impacto de la tecnología, cambio en la estructura familiar, cambio de las expectativas de los hombres, disminución de la fuerza laboral altamente calificada, más mujeres en la fuerza de trabajo y expectativas cambiantes de la Generación X y Y. Resulta que no solamente las mujeres que se convierten en madres a media carrera profesional  quisieran balancear su trabajo y su vida personal ya sea con sus hijos u otras responsabilidades que tiene en un momento específico en el tiempo.

MCC le permite a un empleado optar por aumentar la cantidad y el ritmo de trabajo o bajarlo en un período de tiempo, ya sea porque siente que en ese momento puede manejar mayores responsabilidades o porque necesita bajar la carga laboral por una enfermedad de un familiar cercano, por ejemplo. Estos factores además, afectan el horario y la flexibilidad y el rol del empleado siendo un líder o un colaborador. Vale aclarar que no a todos los empleados que optan por un cambio con MCC se les aprueba, depende de otros factores como el tipo de trabajo que realiza y el nivel de responsabilidad que este tiene, entre otros.

Considerando el tema desde el punto de vista de la empresa: ¿Por qué nos dará miedo ofrecer horarios flexibles a nuestros empleados y confiar que el trabajo para el cual han sido contratados es a base de metas? ¿Por qué será tan difícil identificar a estos empleados comprometidos con la empresa y aceptar darles flexibilidad cuando estos la necesiten?
Viendo el tema desde el punto de vista de los empleados: ¿Por qué será tan difícil entender que una prestación de flexibilidad crea lealtad y más amor al trabajo, y como consecuencia, mejores resultados para las empresas u organizaciones? (sin dejar de mencionar que la tecnología nos permite estar conectados a toda hora y en todo lugar).

Tal vez es hora que más empresas, especialmente salvadoreñas, empiecen a considerar programas como MCC, la fuerza laboral está cambiando, es hora que los trabajos también cambien. Los invito a leer más sobre MCC en www.masscareercustomization.com.