One of my favorite things to study and observe is how work is changing. Two decades ago, we didn’t have any of the social networks we have today. Three decades ago, email and the internet weren’t regular tools. So much about work is changing: what it looks like, what our expectations of it are, what our requirements are, how we engage with each other, where we work from. One group of people revolutionizing the way work looks is working parents. When you have constraints, you innovate. And many working parents aren’t content with the status quo.
Some of the changes on the work front are seen as great: we have more flexibility and remote options than ever before, and this matters particularly for people who need to be at home or have people to take care of.
But a lot of what work looks like is still ripe for change. We still harbor past habits and expectations about loyalty, being full-time, having companies take care of us (with pensions, retirement, and longevity; things that are no longer very common). Further, the “always on” culture and the addictive nature of email and social media, coupled with micro-computers in our pockets, can be both helpful and it can be harmful.
For Forbes’ last week, I got to write about eight entrepreneurial parents that are changing the way work looks, whether it’s through their company, or by how they’re showing up in the work world. These parents are supporting pregnancies, changing what workplace flexibility looks like, innovating how conferences are designed, fighting back against ‘fake news,’ testifying in front of congress, building tribes to help women accelerate their careers in the workforce, pioneering new models of equal partnering, and increasing the investment opportunities for women-owned companies.
I’m consistently inspired by entrepreneurs, and by parents. Here’s the article if you’d like to read, and if you’re interested in parenting and leadership, please do follow my column:
Would love to know from you: How have the transformations in work culture affected you and your career? What do you still wish were different about work? Leave a note in the comments.