In this era where women are such a dynamic factor in the workforce, it’s interesting that the rallying call amongst working mothers is not for greater upward mobility but rather for greater balance between work and family life.

The call is soft and muted, though, because, in reality, these women are between a rock and a hard place.

We’re too Passive

In writing for the online publication Working Mother, Jennifer Parris says women are passive when it comes to advancing their careers or asking for pay in line with their job responsibilities.

You have to ask yourself why? What underlying reasons exist to prevent women from being more proactive in the workplace?

Working Mothers are Underpaid

Money is an issue, but while a high percentage of women (63%) feel they are underpaid and unhappy about it, they are reluctant to ask for more.

Career advancement is another source of dissatisfaction amongst women in the workplace, and yet a very small percentage of women ask for a meeting with a higher up to discuss getting ahead.

You Have to be Bold or Nothing Will Happen

Honestly, it’s not a matter of deserving higher pay or a promotion. But, most companies operate like Black Friday at the mall. If you want something you have to grab it.

You have to make the request.

It’s understandable I suppose. Companies guard the bottom line and will take advantage where they can. Classes in Compassion and Fairness in the workplace are typically not offered in most business schools.


I wonder sometimes if women are shy, inexperienced, or, actually fighting an internal battle to avoid more responsibility at work because it would mean disrupting an already shaky balance between work and family?

What Working Women Consider Success

If I had to land somewhere on the issue, it would be there.

Parris’ article states that a “whopping 89% of respondents to a survey said they defined career success as the flexibility to balance family life and work.”

Managing a family and keeping a 9-5 means that working mothers have two equally big jobs. I’m guessing about the underlying conflicts on the issues of self- promotion, but given how women clearly and unequivocally define success, I’m surely not far afield.

I’m curious what do you think? Are you with the 89%?

If you’re looking to advance in your job, Parris has some good tips on how best to prepare and improve your chances to move up.

How Does an Unfulfilling Job Affect Family Life?

If it’s true that a sizeable majority of working mothers are settling for unfulfilling, even unpleasant careers it’s not a stretch to conclude that dissatisfaction at work impacts your family life as well.

It doesn’t take much to upset whatever delicate balance you have managed to achieve in blending family life with your job when the two collide.

The 89% Club

So, if you are a member of the 89% club the choice is yours. Either pick your moment, gather your courage and approach the boss requesting what you want, or settle for whatever they give you and hang out in quiet desperation.

A Much Better Option

Actually, there is a third option. Start researching small business ideas for women and make a plan to come out from that uncomfortable space between the rock and the wall and start a small business.

Women all over are doing it and in a lot of cases beating the bowties off of their male counterparts. It is something we are well suited to do by nature because we are compassionate, communicators, and, relationship builders. We can hire the numbers people if we need to.

Social Proof

It worked for me as I have been at it for almost 20 years. Being unhappy in a job and thinking I could somehow maintain a happy atmosphere at home was never going to happen.

Where do You Stand?

If 89% of working women define success as being able to strike a harmonious balance between a day job and their night job of managing a family, where do you stand in that equation?

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