Modern Woman: Part Three — A Conversation Beyond Quotas

A modern woman doesn’t have it all figured out because she’s still in the process of figuring it out. That’s what makes her modern. Gender equality at work goes beyond appointing more women to senior positions.

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“When there are so few women at higher levels, many of them think they must behave like a tigress, using every weapon at their disposal to protect their position against other ‘sisters.’”

Yet women are still held up as the symbol for a kinder set of work practices.

Here are what those organisations sound like:

“We value employees who live rich and rounded lives… Our policy has always allowed employees to work flexible hours, as long as the work gets done with no negative impacts on others. A serious surfer doesn’t plan to go surfing next Tuesday at two o’clock. You go surfing when there are waves, and the tide and wind are right.”

- Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard

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Have fun, do exceptional work, build the best product in the business, experiment, pay attention to the details, treat people right, tell the truth, have a positive impact on the world around us, give back, and keep learning.

The script of traditional education was you go to school; then you go to college, then you get a job.

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The protean career is driven by personal career choices and a search for self-fulfilment. So these days, career progression is more like a jungle gym than a ladder.

I admire the squiggly career of Jennifer Michelle Lee.

“If you can do anything setting out, or along the way — because it’s never too late to start again — figure out who you are. What do you love to do? How do you want to live? Then, don’t let a career drive you, let passion drive your life. That may not get you up any ladder, but it will make your trip down a long and winding road more interesting.”

Too many women I know are scared of being called “ambitious” since media portrayals often treat it as a dirty word for a woman.

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I write stories for modern women trying to figure out life, love and business. Read them here.

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