Here is a brief excerpt from an article written by Kathy Caprino for Forbes magazine. To read the complete article, check out other resources, obtain subscription information, and sign up for email alerts, please click here.
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Anyone who studies trends in corporate America knows that women in the workforce now have greater access to professional prowess, authority and influence than ever before. But if you work behind the scenes and in the trenches, you see an entirely different picture. These emerging opportunities are matched by huge obstacles. And so many thousands of U.S. employers are clueless as to how to help women overcome these challenges. They pay lip service to diversity, but don’t take real action to support it.
12 hidden crises working women face
My research reveals that nine of 10 professional women today are facing at least one of 12 “hidden” crises, and over half don’t know what to do about it. Those who have had a professional crisis know that this experience is far more than a “tough time.” It’s a no-turning-back situation—one that demands a reckoning and reevaluation.
So how do women know when they’ve reached that point?
When they frequently find themselves saying, “I can’t do this!”— the desperate cry, or negative mantra, of work-life crisis—and consistently have deep-down feelings of disempowerment, they are likely experiencing one or more of 12 hidden crises.
Among the most common crises:
Struggling to balance life and work: Trying—and failing—to balance it all, and feeling like they’re letting down everyone and everything that matters most
The mantra: “I can’t balance my life and work.”
Suffering from chronic health problems: Failing health—chronic depression, exhaustion, debilitation or a serious ongoing illness or ailment that won’t respond to treatment
The mantra: “I can’t overcome my heath problems.”
Losing their “voice”: Contending with a crippling inability to speak up—unable to be an advocate for themselves or others, for fear of criticism, rejection, or punishment
The mantra: “I can’t speak up for myself.”
Facing mistreatment: Being treated badly, or even discriminated against — and not taking action
The mantra: “I can’t stop this mistreatment.”
Being trapped by financial fears: Remaining in a highly negative situation solely because of money
The mantra: “I can’t get out of this financial trap.”
Wasting talents and skills: Realizing their work doesn’t fit and desperately wanting to apply their talents and abilities in a new direction that excites them.
The mantra: “I can’t use my real talents.”
The traditional, linear competitive career model has been incredibly slow to recognize and embrace women’s differences, and to open the door to new work cultures that work for a majority of women. Despite the progress some corporations have made, the long-standing model in many organizations still doesn’t work for a critical mass of women.
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Caprino then explains what employers must do to support women’s success, recommending nine initiatives.
To read the complete article, please click here.
Kathy Caprino, M.A. is a nationally-recognized women’s career coach and work-life expert, executive trainer, writer and speaker dedicated to the advancement of women in business. Author of Breakdown, Breakthrough, and Founder of The Amazing Career Project (www.amazingcareerproject.com), Kathy is Founder and President of Ellia Communications, Inc. (www.elliacommunications.com) — a leading career and executive coaching and training firm helping professional women build successful and fulfilling careers of significance, and reach their highest potential.
A former corporate marketing VP, trained marriage and family therapist, and seasoned coach, Kathy is a Forbes and Huffington Post contributor and top media source on women’s career issues and trends, and has appeared in over 100 leading newspapers and magazines and on national radio and television. For more information, visit www.elliacommunications.com or write to Kathy@elliacommunications.com. Connect with Kathy on Twitter, FB, LinkedIn.