Coaching Women Leaders

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Date Submitted: 03/11/2011 09:24 AM

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Introduction: Women face several barriers in their career advancement and struggle to make difficult choices regarding various facets of their life. Some of the important issues include work-life balance, managing stress and isolation, discrimination including glass ceiling, sexual harassment, understanding gender norms and differences in their workplace. In this essay along with these issues several solutions have been suggested for the women to cope with these barriers and some recommendations have been provided for organizations as well to retain and promote a healthy workforce comprising of both male and female in a gender neutral setting.

Brief History: Since the early settlers came to the United States, the mother was in charge of maintaining the household while the father had the financial responsibilities. In the mid-1800s, with the Industrial Revolution, roles began to shift from an agricultural to an industrial society. Men went to work in the factories and women continued to stay home with the children. However, during World War Two when there was a labour shortage women were forced to start working in factories to produce goods for the war (Brykman, 2007, p. 184). Having experienced being out in the workforce, women realized their potential beyond the home and family.

In 1963 Betty Friedan identified the voice within the suburban wife: “I want something more than my husband and my children and my home” (Brykman, 2007, p. 185).

Today, women want to be empowered. They enter universities and college with an end goal in mind as they are career driven and focused. For many women, empowerment means not having to rely on their husbands to give them spending money. It also means being independent and gaining respect from society since society respects those who earn wages (Brykman, 2007, p. 187).

Work-Life Balance: The equilibrium between the amount of time and effort somebody devotes to work and that given to other aspects of life. Work-life balance is a...

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