If women are going to avoid becoming road kill on the Mommy Track, things are going to have to change when it comes to what we're willing to give our leaders in politics and in Corporate America.
Sarah Palin wants to bring her kids on work trips because women are still the main kid watchers and kid nurturers in most American families.
Sorry folks, that's just the reality.
The women who are outraged that she used state funds to bring her kids along better shut up and shut up quick.
These are the types of accommodations that have to be made if we're going to get more women in the corner offices.
Women still barely make up 20 percent of the big jobs in the business world, and the numbers are even worse when it comes to political arena. (There are only eight female U.S. governors.)
There's no way around it, women are going to have to adapt, and make sacrifices if they're going to move up the ladder, but the workplace is also going to have to adapt to us.
I know, I risk having critics say this is exactly why women shouldn't be in leadership positions. Why should we change the game to accommodate women? It's been the same game for decades, just play by the rules.
That argument is a cop out, and it's one many women allow to derail them from their ambitions.
Don't fall for it gals. Keeping the game as difficult as possible for women, and for men who want to be more involved with their families, is how the Good Old Boys network is able to keep thriving.
In the latest Palin news, the Associated Press says the Alaska governor charged the state "for hotel and commercial flights for three daughters to join Palin to watch their father in a snowmobile race, and a trip to New York, where the governor attended a five-hour conference and stayed with 17-year-old Bristol for five days and four nights in a luxury hotel."
First off, where the heck else would a governor stay, a fleabag motel? And, if the "First Dude" was snowmobile racing, who the heck was going to watch the girls back home?
Welcome to today's family reality. If we want men and women with families to have thriving careers, this kind of expense has to be tolerated.
States and corporations spend plenty of money on stupid things. How about giving huge payouts to the heirs of dead CEOs for one? Why not spend some travel cash for the family of a CEO who is still alive?
"We can't continue to ignore the fact that there are women in the workplace and we have children," says Laura Lowell, editor of "42 Rules for Working Moms."
Most companies just don't want to deal with the issue of creating parent-friendly workplaces, she explains. Employers, she adds, typically have one mantra -- "manage the personal stuff on your own."
But with more women now in the workplace and so many companies saying they want to groom more women leaders, they're going to have to really walk the flexibility workplace walk. "Parents need flexible work arrangements, they need to take time off to take care of sick kids, and maybe even take their kids on work trips," she stresses.
"Why does there have to be such a hard line drawn between professional life and personal life," she asks.
But that doesn't mean women are going to take their eyes off of work.
"I believe women and men should be 100% focused on their work when they are at work," advises Gabriela Cora, author of Alpha Female: Leader of a Pack of Bitches - Winning Strategies to Become an Outstanding Leader.
Cora is concerned with fairness. "If I said I could concentrate on my work while I tend to my baby's needs, this may not be different from a male executive saying he can do the work while he checks on the tennis match. We should place no judgment as far as to what's important to every person but there needs to be some clear guidelines for everyone," she says.
So it's time to be fair and change the rules of workplace engagement.
"Rules are meant to be broken," Lowell notes. "We need to play by different rules or we'll get left behind."
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