box.jpgIt’s the same old tired anti-work-flexibility excuse I hear over and over again:

Most jobs need to take up most of your non-sleeping life; and you need to put aside your family and your personal life if you’re going to climb the ladder of success.

Well, I think that’s just bull.

I wrote a story for MSNBC.com that ran this morning on how women are redefining the meaning of success, and I know a lot of women and men will take me to task because not everyone has the opportunities to have a more flexible schedule. And yes, there is still bias against women, especially working moms, in the workplace. And yes, it’s still a man’s world and men still hold the majority of top seats at most every company.

But hey gals, how’s anything going to change if we just sit on our butts and complain?

The story I wrote today focuses on professional women who are in industries and at companies that desperately want to keep smart, talented women, and are open to changing things. If these women don’t push the envelope, don’t ask for what they need, what hope is there for the rest of us?

They are in a position to be the trailblazers, the pioneers. And they have to stop making excuses for their choices. We all have to.

We’ve all become so tied up in the mommy wars and in defending our choices as working mothers, and working fathers, that we think we have to take what ever the hell we can get and not demand more, not look outside of the old, tired, professional box.

There is nothing wrong with going to a smaller law firm instead of the mega firm in a big city if that makes more sense from a work-life balance perspective. And if a big corporation is known for eating their workers alive and spitting them out, maybe a new mom or dad has to reassess what they want and what they’re doing.

Companies that have become too big to fail have not helped this country anyway. Look at what the mega financial firms — many of which imploded during the recent financial collapse — have done to our economy, our country.

We all need to stand up and question what the meaning of success has become in this country. Greed no matter what the cost has left a crummy legacy for our kids, no?

This isn’t about not working hard. Any manager will tell you the majority of working moms are so happy you’ve given them even a tiny bit of flexibility they’ll work their butts off for you.

This is about changing the structure of how we work in this country. When that happens, women will end up in the corner offices in greater numbers, and the disparity in pay between men and women will finally disappear.

Is it so strange an idea to have co-CEOs, so the CEOs can also have lives outside of work? Wouldn’t it make the CEOs more in tune with the world outside, and more apt to do the right thing when it comes to financial and moral responsibilities to shareholders, employees, society at large? Give these guys, in the business world, in politics, etc., some time to spend with their kids, or volunteering in the community. They’ve got to get out of their Ivory Towers. They’ve lost perspective.

Remember General Motors’ embattled former CEO Rick Wagoner who, among other auto execs, flew on a private jet for his meeting with Congressional members to ask for a bail out? Or just look at the stream of members of Congress who have been in their jobs too long and are losing touch with what is right and what is wrong. New York Congressman Charles Rangel may be a prime example.

Given the government’s low approval rating, maybe part-time legislators is the way to go.

And I wasn’t kidding about co-CEOs. Believe it or not, this isn’t totally off the wall. Tech company RIM has two, Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, and the world didn’t come to an end.

It’s all about thinking it can happen. That’s the only way things will change gals.

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