This morning I drove 90 minutes round trip for a 90-minute meeting. It was a woman’s networking group that convenes at lunch every month or so to talk about our evolution. It’s aptly called the Evolve Network, and today in particular I was encouraged by the amount of talent in the room.

I became acutely aware of what a resource we women are, not only to each other, but to the world at large.

Talent Management magazine recently reported on the fact that women’s income is rapidly increasing compared to men’s; we’re at a whopping 81 cents to every man’s dollar (hey, I remember when it was 75!), yet companies aren’t always swift to adopt a more women-friendly atmosphere.

According to the World Economic Forums “The Global Gender Gap Report,” which ranks 134 countries based on the size of income gaps between men and women, along with chasms in education, political empowerment and health, Iceland, Norway, Finland and Sweden win out. Chad, Pakistan and Yemen showed the broadest gender gap while the United States had a boosted ranking of #19 versus #32 just one year ago (I do wonder how much of that has to do with the ‘mancession‘).

While the author of the article, Mike Prokopeak, agrees that bringing the income gap into balance is one way to counteract the unfairness in the workplace, he also states that

“another is broadening work-life programs to better leverage the contributions of women and benefit men. Most employers still structure jobs based on the assumption that someone is at home taking care of the family, and some women are put on the “mommy track,” forcing them to trade career opportunities for raising a family.” Full article here

The ‘mommy track’ is one reason why I work from home, creating not only my own career path, but also my own rules. It works well, except for those moments when the battle over who gets to use the bathroom when boils over into my conference call time with the East Coast…

Life in the slow lane can have its challenges!

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Lessons from the cloud

April 17, 2010

Thousands of people are stranded at the Munich Airport due to the volcanic ash hanging out in the stratosphere over Europe. Even Chancellor Angela Merkel has been affected by the continental haze that oozed from the base of the Eyjafjallajokull glacier. Flying back from a visit to the United States, she had to stop in Portugal instead of her planned destination of Berlin. Tens of thousands of others have jumped on trains or rented cars. One politician even took a bus from Hungary back home, braving the 600+ KM trip with other mortals who move slower than he.

How Nature teaches us the power of slow, enforcing its laws and bending its will against ours! If you were to ask any one of the travelers staked out in tents in the lobby of Munich airport, you might get a response of irritation. One brave soul admitted ‘we will sit and drink tea’, a marvelous German saying (Abwarten und Tee trinken), that implies an almost Zen-like acceptance of the here and now. But the no-fly zone has brought on a certain quiet in our skys that is both relaxing and notable.

As someone recently said to me, Nature will correct itself. It’s mankind we have to worry about.

Here is the visual of Southern Iceland’s pervasive plume of ash….

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