Women Torn Between Leaning in or Leaning Back!

Recently I enjoyed one of my favorite actors, Robert De Niro in an excellent movie,  The Intern.  By the way, Anne Hathaway was stunning as well.  If you have not already seen this funny and spot on creative movie about generational challenges chock full of light-hearted intensity, you must.  Several themes emerged; the retiree looking to rewire for continued purpose in life, the role of men as stay at home partners raising children and a young emerging “fire breathing” woman who successfully launches her own company only to find herself torn between leaning in and leaning back.

Back in the day, and here and now women are in a quandry.  Leaning in or leaning back can mean focus on the career and postpone having children, decide not to have them, negotiate partner relationship in a new way.

In a study that was part of a long-term partnership between LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Company to encourage female leadership and foster gender equality in the workplace, data revealed that at every stage, women are less eager than men to become a top executive. They are more likely to cite “stress/pressure” as a top issue, and this is not solely rooted in concern over balancing work and family. There is evidence pointing to another explanation—the path to leadership is disproportionately stressful for women is a key finding.   These are the times and the challenges for women that still impact our relationships, our self-image, others critical view, etc.

This study is worth reading, here.

It’s no wonder that emerging professionals, especially those of child bearing age or with young children have many stresses to cope with as they seek to climb the ladder of success.  A price is paid whether we lean in or lean back.

What is your experience?  Dare to share!