Friday, November 27, 2009

Family and Career Choices

I was recently having an online discussion with the ForbesWoman Group and responded to a very interesting topic posted by the Deputy Online Editor.
The topic was: Do You Have to Justify Your Career?
Several women responded with their views and experiences and I agreed with some of their views.

My Response was:
"In my case, there were times when people made me feel you had to justify a career until I had to change the mindset of those around me who only saw me in the traditional women roles as only an academic wife, mother, professional volunteer, etc. All those roles are fine because I am all those roles simultaneously and I enjoyed raising my 3 children when I worked from home and I have no regrets about it. My children ages are 18yrs, 14yrs and 8 years old."

"When I entered back into a structured formal workforce, some of the beliefs that women fit only into specific roles, particularly in certain circles and geographic locations are still rooted.
So, I changed the views of those around me and educated them about the wide spectrum of opportunities, careers and entrepreneur ventures for women that have always been there historically." A Forbes Woman Group Colleague mentioned her philosophy of using the term "Our Career" whereby she implemented having her spouse and children embrace that her profession did not belong just to her and it was apart of all their lives. I thought that was a good approach and another discussion colleague mentioned our socities "Gender Construction" and how there still exist presumptions that we need to keep chipping away at in order for women to continue to pursue opportunities.

"One of the great things that I have embraced with each phase so far in my life is that you don't need approval to make yourself happy and to educate your family, friends and co-workers that following my dreams is a benefit we can all share."

Ironically, many women still perpetuate their own entrapment by upholding traditional customs that are outdated; holding fast to some religious doctrines that continue to restrict, oppress and stereotype them. Women still degrade and disrespect each other views, race and culture to the detriment and suppression of their own gender. We need not be our own worse enemies and we can not blame all of our behavior on men if we are not willing to change ourselves.
In fact the wonderous and positive growth that takes place inside of me whether it is spiritual, an individual, mother, wife, career and whatever else I am yet to be is not something to be threatened by but can only enhance the lives of our male counterparts and human connections.

Let Your Inner Voice Rise-
Gloria J Harden-Bailey

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