Women’s Work-Life Balance: Why Women Still Can’t Have It All

Women’s Work-Life Balance: Why Women Still Can’t Have It All

A Message From The Creator

A Message From The Creator

Inspirational Woman Of The Day: Futhi Mtoba

Inspirational Woman Of The Day: Futhi Mtoba

Women’s News: Why Less Confidence Could Make You Better at Work

Women’s News: Why Less Confidence Could Make You Better at Work

Women’s News: Why Less Confidence Could Make You Better at Work


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Confidence is supposed to be the key to just about everything: The first date. Waterskiing. Lying (not that we would know). If you’re confident, they say, you’re already halfway there.

And nowhere is the allure of confidence more pervasive than in the workplace. Whether asking for a raise, giving a presentation or just rounding up co-workers for happy hour, we’re repeatedly told that being confident will make our career successful.

Until now. Research published by Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic in The Harvard Business Reviewargues that confidence isn’t the key to career success… though lack of confidence might be.

Why Low Self-Confidence Is a Good Thing

Dr. Chamorro-Premuzic, a Professor of Business Psychology at University College London (UCL) and Visiting Professor at New York University, is an international authority in personality profiling and psychometric testing. His research findings argue that a less-confident person will be moresuccessful than someone who is overconfident.

His reasons are as follows:

1. Self-Criticism

“To be the very best at anything, you will need to be your harshest critic,” writes Dr. Chamorro-Premuzic, “and that is almost impossible when your starting point is high self-confidence.” He finds that people with low self-confidence don’t have an “optimistic bias,” which would condition them to focus on positive feedback and ignore the negative. Therefore, they’re more likely to take constructive criticism to heart and, being very aware of their flaws, fix them. In some ways, that’s similar to the bias we found when we discussed how pessimism can actually help your finances.

2. Motivation

Dr. Chamorro-Premuzic makes this distinction: Low self-confidence is detrimental to achieving your goals if you aren’t that motivated to begin with. But if you are willing to put in the work, he says, low self-confidence will make you work that much harder, because you think you have a long way to go before you get there.

3. Modesty

Modesty has nothing to do with what you wear and everything to do with how people perceive you. “Lower self-confidence reduces the chances of coming across as arrogant,” writes Dr. Chamorro-Premuzic. He explains that less-confident people are more likely to admit their mistakes and less likely to take credit for other’s accomplishments. Now, doesn’t that sounds like someoneyou would want to promote?

So What Does This Mean for You?

Okay, you caught us. We aren’t going to say that you should be less confident to succeed in the workplace. (Not after sharing our two-minute trick to build up that confidence!) You need confidence to rock a job interview or make a department presentation, so our goal is to help you walk that line between confidence and too much confidence.

Here are some takeaways we’ll incorporate into our own lives based on Dr. Chamorro-Premuzic’s findings:

Take Constructive Criticism Seriously

Criticism: “You’re driving me crazy.” Constructive criticism: “You’re driving me crazy because you refuse to label the files you keep dropping on my desk.” Know the difference so you don’t takeunconstructive criticism too much to heart, and then take what feedback you can from the constructive kind. Your co-workers will appreciate that you’re not only listening, but doing your best to improve.

What You Can Do: Next time someone criticizes you, write down the comment, disregarding any mean language, and put it aside. Look at the critique again in a few days with fresh, uninjured eyes, ignoring the venomous parts and looking for any kernels of truth. If there’s anything you should learn for the future, use the information accordingly, and if not, let it go.

Make the Effort

Dr. Chamorro-Premuzic says that low self-confidence only impedes your progress toward a goal if you don’t want that goal badly enough. The lesson? Recognize how far away you are from your goal and be prepared to bridge that distance. If you want it — whether “it” is a promotion, new project or desk near the window — accept from the outset that you’ll have to work hard.

What You Can Do: Break your goal into smaller steps. For instance, manageable steps in “get a promotion” could be something like:


    1. Write down all the contributions you’ve made to your employer


    1. Research positions and salaries in similar organizations


    1. Draw up a list of points to make with your request


    1. Schedule a meeting


    1. Get a great night’s sleep the evening before!



Recognize the Contributions of Others

Even if you’re not actively taking credit for someone else’s work, everyone always appreciates being recognized for his or her achievements. Remember, putting down others (or simply declining to mention the role they’ve played in helping you) doesn’t make anyone look good, in the workplace or elsewhere. If anything, giving credit where it’s due will make you look good… as a team player.

What You Can Do: When you recognize the great job someone has done, compliment her. When someone else deserves the credit on a project, give it to them. Being gracious takes effort, but the more you do it, the easier it gets.

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LearnVest is the leading personal finance site for women. Need help managing your money? Ourfree Money Center will help you create a budget. Our free bootcamps will help you take control of your money, cut your costs or get out of debt. And our premium financial plans–managed by LearnVest Certified Financial Planners–can help you chart a course for the future you want.

Read More: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/learnvest/women-and-work_b_1884008.html?utm_hp_ref=women&ir=Women

Inspirational Woman Of The Day: Futhi Mtoba

Futhi Mtoba (b. July 11, 1955) ,  South African partner in Deloitte’s financial institutions service team, was the first black woman to be appointed a partner and deputy-chairman of one of the Big Four accounting firms in South Africa. On June 2008, she has been appointed as the new Chairperson of the Council of the University of Pretoria.

Ntombifuthi Temperance Mtoba was born and raised in Swaziland along with her nine siblings. It was there that Futhi’s feet were firmly planted on the earth, with her father teaching her the most valuable lesson of life. “My father, who worked for the department of agriculture, insisted his children, and especially his daughters, should be financially independent when they grew up. Five of my six sisters are graduates, including two lawyers, a medical doctor, an agronomist, and a master’s graduate,” she says. Always being fond of Economics, Futhi enrolled at the University of Botswana and Swaziland for a BA in Economics. The young Futhi, armed with confidence and courage, later moved to South Africa where she obtained her Honours in Economics, a B Com Honours at the University of South Africa, her Higher Diploma in Banking Law, and successfully qualified as a Chartered Account of South Africa (Wow!). She joined Deloitte & Touche in 1988, and so the foundation of her career was cemented.
Futhi’s professional career started in Umtata at the offices of SA’s first black chartered accountant, Wiseman Nkuhlu in association with Hoek & Wiehelm. She joined Deloitte & Touche in 1988 and rose quickly up the hierarchy.

She was  being named Businesswoman of the Year, 2004.

As a leading light in ABASA and as a member of the transformation committee of the SA Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), she seeks to facilitate the advancement of blacks in the profession.

Futhi Mtoba is the epitome of a new breed of South African business leader today: Highly qualified, successful, ebullient and attractively down to earth. Since joining the firm in 1988, she has risen  through the ranks to become the first black female partner and deputy chairman at Deloitte Southern Africa. She has also been appointed the first female president of the Association for the Advancement of Black Accountants of Southern Africa (ABASA), a body dedicated to nurturing emerging black accountants.

She is a board member of a number of professional organisations, including the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) and the Public Accountants & Auditors Board (PAAB). She also serves on the boards of high profile financial services institutions, such as the Financial Services Advisory Board and the Money Laundering Advisory Board, to mention a few.

Futhi’s road to success has not always been easy, as she joined the profession at a time when the political dispensation of South Africa was negatively disposed towards the advancement of blacks and women in business.

When I joined the firm, I was fortunate that we had visionary leaders who already had a programme in place to train black accountants before it became a legal imperative,” says Futhi. “Transformation is a slow process. One is dealing with attitudes which are an integral part of people’s upbringing, beliefs and habits and which cannot simply be jettisoned overnight — and that applies to people of all races.”

With the recent passing of the financial services empowerment charter in South Africa, Futhi is comfortable with Deloitte’s focus on growing black talent in-house rather than looking to merge with a black firm. “Growing skills from within is our preferred strategy — mergers invariably cause pain when integrating corporate cultures,” she says. “We have a solid pool of black skills in the firm. Of the 28 black partners, 11 are African black of which four are female. The firm is  targeting 25% black by 2007.”

She puts the number of qualified Chartered Accountants in the country at 20,000.  Only about 1,500 of these are black, and the number of black Africans is a mere 330. Of these, only about 90 are women. “In terms of percentages, we are washed out in decimals,” she observes. “This is quite unacceptable.” Of the 214 partners at Deloitte, the number of females stands at 26, well above the national average.

It is these glaring inequalities that led Futhi to campaign tirelessly for the empowerment of aspirant black accountants.

As president of ABASA, Futhi is uniquely placed to encourage young black people, particularly those in rural areas, to enter the accounting profession. The Association works with universities and technikons to inform students about accounting and also provides funding. Deloitte has a similar programme that earmarks high-potential learners and students, providing them with scholarships to study accounting. “This is how we will get the pool of black skills into the firm,” says Futhi.

Futhi is equally committed to corporate governance and ethics. She believes it’s crucial to adhere to the raft of industry regulations — from the onerous Sarbanes-Oxley Act of the U.S., which came into being after the Enron scandal, to King II on corporate governance. “We needed a rude awakening. This had to happen. It will strengthen the profession,” says Futhi.

Futhi’s ability to cope with her myriad of personal and professional responsibilities is grounded in her self confidence, which she says stems from her father’s strict, but loving, upbringing in Swaziland as one of 10 children. “My father, insisted his children, and especially his daughters, should be financially independent when they grew up. Five of my six sisters are graduates, including two lawyers, a medical doctor, an agronomist and a master’s graduate.”

Futhi is confident about the future of South Africa. “We have enough people of talent, experience and goodwill on all sides who can pool their talents and work together. I would encourage all South Africans to look to the future, because it is when we complement each other and work towards common goals that we will enjoy the greatest success, and the deepest fulfilment.”

Read More: http://www.africansuccess.org/visuFiche.php?id=595&lang=en

A Message From The Creator

Women’s Work-Life Balance: Why Women Still Can’t Have It All

Hey Everyone, I would love your opinion on this story.

It’s time to stop fooling ourselves, says a woman who left a position of power: the women who have managed to be both mothers and top professionals are superhuman, rich, or self-employed. If we truly believe in equal opportunity for all women, here’s what has to change.


EIGHTEEN MONTHS INTO my job as the first woman director of policy planning at the State Department, a foreign-policy dream job that traces its origins back to George Kennan, I found myself in New York, at the United Nations’ annual assemblage of every foreign minister and head of state in the world. On a Wednesday evening, President and Mrs. Obama hosted a glamorous reception at the American Museum of Natural History. I sipped champagne, greeted foreign dignitaries, and mingled. But I could not stop thinking about my 14-year-old son, who had started eighth grade three weeks earlier and was already resuming what had become his pattern of skipping homework, disrupting classes, failing math, and tuning out any adult who tried to reach him. Over the summer, we had barely spoken to each other—or, more accurately, he had barely spoken to me. And the previous spring I had received several urgent phone calls—invariably on the day of an important meeting—that required me to take the first train from Washington, D.C., where I worked, back to Princeton, New Jersey, where he lived. My husband, who has always done everything possible to support my career, took care of him and his 12-year-old brother during the week; outside of those midweek emergencies, I came home only on weekends.

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A debate on career and family See full coverage

As the evening wore on, I ran into a colleague who held a senior position in the White House. She has two sons exactly my sons’ ages, but she had chosen to move them from California to D.C. when she got her job, which meant her husband commuted back to California regularly. I told her how difficult I was finding it to be away from my son when he clearly needed me. Then I said, “When this is over, I’m going to write an op-ed titled ‘Women Can’t Have It All.’”

She was horrified. “You can’t write that,” she said. “You, of all people.” What she meant was that such a statement, coming from a high-profile career woman—a role model—would be a terrible signal to younger generations of women. By the end of the evening, she had talked me out of it, but for the remainder of my stint in Washington, I was increasingly aware that the feminist beliefs on which I had built my entire career were shifting under my feet. I had always assumed that if I could get a foreign-policy job in the State Department or the White House while my party was in power, I would stay the course as long as I had the opportunity to do work I loved. But in January 2011, when my two-year public-service leave from Princeton University was up, I hurried home as fast as I could.

A rude epiphany hit me soon after I got there. When people asked why I had left government, I explained that I’d come home not only because of Princeton’s rules (after two years of leave, you lose your tenure), but also because of my desire to be with my family and my conclusion that juggling high-level government work with the needs of two teenage boys was not possible. I have not exactly left the ranks of full-time career women: I teach a full course load; write regular print and online columns on foreign policy; give 40 to 50 speeches a year; appear regularly on TV and radio; and am working on a new academic book. But I routinely got reactions from other women my age or older that ranged from disappointed (“It’s such a pity that you had to leave Washington”) to condescending (“I wouldn’t generalize from your experience. I’ve never had to compromise, andmy kids turned out great”).

The first set of reactions, with the underlying assumption that my choice was somehow sad or unfortunate, was irksome enough. But it was the second set of reactions—those implying that my parenting and/or my commitment to my profession were somehow substandard—that triggered a blind fury. Suddenly, finally, the penny dropped. All my life, I’d been on the other side of this exchange. I’d been the woman smiling the faintly superior smile while another woman told me she had decided to take some time out or pursue a less competitive career track so that she could spend more time with her family. I’d been the woman congratulating herself on her unswerving commitment to the feminist cause, chatting smugly with her dwindling number of college or law-school friends who had reached and maintained their place on the highest rungs of their profession. I’d been the one telling young women at my lectures that you can have it all and do it all, regardless of what field you are in. Which means I’d been part, albeit unwittingly, of making millions of women feel that they are to blame if they cannot manage to rise up the ladder as fast as men and also have a family and an active home life (and be thin and beautiful to boot).

Read More: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/07/why-women-still-cant-have-it-all/309020/

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