It’s everywhere: reflection on the past 40 years of women in the workforce.Time’s cover story this week – “The State of the American Woman: a new poll shows why they are more powerful, but less happy,” (October 26, 2009) chronicles the changes since women starting hitting the workforce in full and is chock-full of data nuggets that give us the picture of where we’ve come and where we are now.Author Nancy Gibbs writes, “It’s funny how things change slowly, until the day we realize they’ve changed completely.It’s expected that by the end of the year, for the first time in history the majority of workers in the U.S. will be women… More and more women are the primary breadwinner in their household (almost 40%)… Their buying power has never been greater.”
Since we’ve accomplished so much in the past 40 years, why oh why are so many women unhappy?
I’m 42. My life has followed the arc of women coming into our own. Unlike earlier generations, I’ve been able to make my voice heard – at work, as well as at home. As a young adult, I followed my own locus of control and worked in interesting, challenging, fruitful areas.Now as a wife and mother, the locus of control is more complicated and dispersed, but ultimately it’s up to me to make my own happiness by finding work that is meaningful, challenging and complementary to the rest of my life. My current situation as a co-owner of a small business with Betsy lets us be in control of most everything (economy excepted, of course!) and my happiness is high.The Time article hits it home once again:having a partner in work and a powership I can count on allows me to buck the trend of rising power and falling happiness. Through powership both are possible.