Wednesday, April 17, 2013

On Women and Unconventional Careers

I was thinking of all the amazing women I know who do interesting things: my friends who are freelance writers, a few who work for non-profit organizations, some of the entrepreneurs I've met since I started my own business... And so I wrote this.
By opting out of the system, are you eliminating the chance of changing it? If women allow themselves to be pushed off the conventional career path, are we making change less likely, making it more difficult for other women?
Or are we changing the system anyway, by building alternatives to traditional, sexist work environments? Successful women entrepreneurs and freelancers demonstrate that there are other ways. Women business heads can set up more fair practices and have better workplaces. These would be bigger, better changes, in my opinion, than trying to change sexist policies or habits ingrained in conservative workplaces (and changes on the outside will then influence these as well). 
The traditional workplace – large organizations, usually with men at leading positions – is aligned with the patriarchal system. We need change both from within and without. New ways of working and new career avenues can help shift the balance of power.
I struggled a lot with this. I wanted to highlight how wonderful this is that so many women are seeking out work they love or building something new, without being condescending or sexist about it ("women don't need money, so they work for love"). I'm not sure I achieved it, but at least my support of doing work you love comes through, I think.

(And I think this is true for men as well as women: you should find something you really want to do, even if it makes you less money.)

Here's the link again: tell me what you think.

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