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LEADERSHIP IS A PROCESS OF SOCIAL INFLUENCE, WHICH MAXIMISES THE EFFORTS OF OTHERS TOWARDS THE ACHIEVEMENT OF A SHARED GOAL.
Thursday, March 15, 2012
The business community is due for a change in the way it values families and work-life balance, Koehn says. She addresses this in three parts.
Large companies are struggling to retain top talent, half of whom or more are women, Koehn says. Improvement is needed in enabling a woman to maintain her career and have a life outside of work — including having and raising a child — that goes beyond “a kind of toggle switch” in which a woman leaves and then “tries to get back in.”
Corporations need to have open discussions about work-life balance, including what it means to have a family. It’s not enough to discuss “work-life balance” or “work-family,” Koehn says. What is needed is “a more nuanced dialogue that’s in keeping with the … difficulty and messiness of trying to work well and live well as a family member, a parent and a citizen,” she says.
Businesses don’t foster values that include men and women as units of a family, particularly among large corporations, Koehn says. Few include family as a core part of their mission or values, and “yet everyone has a family, and everyone is very much affected in terms of the possibilities and their paths by what that family is and what it becomes.”