Michelle Obama on Mother's Day and Beyond
BY: Claire Shipman and Katty Kay
She understood that careers are no longer straight, forbidding ladders than need to be climbed with gritted teeth. And she also understood that she wanted a hand in raising her children. That it's finally fine to admit women are not the same as men. She understood the genius of what we call Womenomics, a workplace revolution led by and designed for all professional women.
Women have more power in the marketplace than ever before. We are more valuable to companies than we realize. Indeed, businesses that employ more senior women actually make more money. We are better educated than men. We consume more. Our management styles are not only different, but essential. We're, you guessed it, more feminine. We consult, conciliate, and avoid high-risk. And it works.
Companies need and want us, and that power is enabling us to remake the workplace into a more flexible, less linear place. Women everywhere are negotiating for what they really want -- control over their time. A majority of career women say they would happily trade status and money for more of that invaluable commodity. And really -- doesn't it make sense, isn't it nice, to be able to get what we really want? Oh we're not all ruling out the top, mind you. We'd just like the option to take another path.
So when we hear, occasionally, the argument that Mrs. Obama is somehow committing professional suicide and betraying her feminist forebears by giving up her career, or in focusing to heavily on being a homemaker as First Lady, we beg to differ. Big time. Does anybody really doubt that Michelle Obama, or other women like her, will be able get back into the workforce? Please. In fact, she's helping all women by continuing to redefine feminism in ways that really work for us. Saner careers, that might ebb and flow. Isn't that a feminist victory?
©2009 Claire Shipman & Katty Kay, authors of Womenomics: Write Your Own Rules for Success