Recently in a client meeting, I told the group that I would be checking my phone since my daughter was traveling out of state. I wanted them to know that I would interrupt the meeting to answer the phone in case there was an urgent need. Flashback 10 years ago, and I would never have dreamed of doing this since we were all just beginning to bring our devices to work. Flashback 20 years ago, and I would never have admitted to a client that I had a life outside of the office. As a woman, they might not think I’m serious about my career or their account.
Thank goodness times have changed and I believe women Millennials are responsible for starting this conversation in their workplaces.
Working women have come a long way. That’s not to say it’s all good but most of it is very positive. For example, at a women’s networking luncheon, I met a group of women CPAs from the same mid-sized firm. They mentioned that their firm encouraged attendance at the luncheon and was looking for ways to offer flex time and working from home. That’s a smart decision to value these talented women today as well as to offer options to keep them satisfied with the company in the future.
Coming of working age just after the “Women’s Movement” era of the 1980s, women, like me, thought it was best to put aside personal matters and focus only on work. That, along with power suits, would help us to be taken seriously in the workplace. Today is so much better and I think Millennials have taught us to communicate more effectively within our organizations. Blending our work and personal lives can strengthen work relationships and improve employee engagement and, ultimately, provide a high level of employee satisfaction and productivity.
Let’s give this generation credit for helping us communicate better – thank you Millennials!