“The latest trend in women’s leadership circles today is telling women they can’t have it all, and they should stop trying. Many top female political and corporate leaders in a wide range of industries and arenas have been quoted in the past few years as saying ‘You can’t have it all – it’s a pipedream” writes Kathy Caprino.
Historically, women were the CEOs of the household while men were out in the professional world bringing home the bacon. World War II shifted the demographics of those in the workplace and since then women have made strides in the working world. “American women born in the early 1980s are 33 percent more likely to have earned a college degree by the time they reach 27 years of age than their male contemporaries, according to the results of a longitudinal study published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.” – CNSNews.com
Despite these statistics, the number of women in leadership roles is still miniscule. “Of 197 heads of state, only 22 are women. Of the top 500 companies by revenues, only 21 are headed by women. In politics, women hold just 18% of congressional offices.” – Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In
There are many reasons women are not climbing to the top of corporate ladder. Reasons for this include a still-present gender bias, sexism, and women’s lack of belief in their own capabilities. Another major challenge is that, in most cases, women still continue to be the frontrunner of raising children and running the household. If they want to advance their careers they must be superwoman. They must be able to do it all.
In an article featured on Forbes. “Why It’s So Damaging To Tell Women They Can’t Have It All (And Why I’m So Tired Of Hearing It)”, Kathy Caprino discusses her discontent with women telling other women that “having it all’ is an illusion that comes with painful sacrifices and compromises.”
Caprino discusses her own vulnerabilities with being a professional and a mom. “I was a corporate Vice President when my children were little, and I personally lived the grueling experience of feeling guilty and ashamed that I was letting down everyone and everything I cared about in my life – my children who needed me, my husband who needed my parental and spousal support, and my professional life that needed full-time attention. I got sick frequently, and felt depleted, depressed and exhausted (my book Breakdown, Breakthrough shares more of that story). So I truly get how challenging it is to juggle both identities. I’m absolutely not saying that it’s easy or simple to build a satisfying and enriching personal life while also being a highly-contributive professional. Not easy at all.”
Caprino goes on to discuss how reframing your life, and adapting your mindset, can make a world of difference in what you can achieve. She advises that adopting a more positive mindset, while remaining realistically optimistic is the way to go. “Stop thinking about and defining life in terms of “all,” because that just leads you to think you’ve ended up with ‘nothing.’ Think instead about what you’ve already created in your life, and how to relish and appreciate that more, and build on it to pave the way for greater happiness and success, on your own terms. Where you are today is your ‘all.’ If it’s not to your liking, find new ways to shift it.”
Caprino’s steps to reframing the issue of “having it all” parallel many of TRACOM’s enhancing resiliency and a positive mindset tactics.
She suggests to:
- Be ever-vigilant about how you view, and talk about, your life and career – the lens you use to see it through, and the language you use to describe it
- Understand that your career – and your life – has seasons. It’s not all about today
- Build a support network and get help
- Stop comparing
“Thinking about ‘having it all’ is a waste of time and a negative way to view your life. Think instead about, “What do I love, what do I need to do to be happy, and what decisions can I make today that will honor my needs and wants.”
You have to think with realistic optimism and positivity. Enhancing your mindset and practicing resiliency allows us to not only bounce back from tough situations, but bounce forward and be better because of the tough times. Learn more about enhancing Resiliency and obtaining an Adaptive Mindset.
Click here to read the full article “Why It’s So Damaging To Tell Women They Can’t Have It All (And Why I’m So Tired Of Hearing It)”.