So heartened to see my own choices reflected in the wider community: women are shifting the accepted employment paradigm for the betterment of us all.
For too long have patriarchal expectations of work “success” become the value to which striving female workers aspire.
Naturally fluid in work participation, women seem now finally able to set their own personal standards around employment, motherhood, family and community priorities (often including much unpaid and volunteer activities) and are managing their own needs and energy levels to maintain optimum functioning in the fullness of their lives.
Alternative ways to provide income, while maintaining a family presence and personal interests to full advantage, has become simpler and has global ramifications in this digital age.
Indeed, the only limitation placed on women in the workforce is the individual’s inability to step outside the stereotypes.
If we can continue to reimagine what is, in fact, woman’s work, we may well find a new way to engage in a system which currently supports the patriarchy, or to support our community into the future by simply holding true to our authentic voices and intuitive wisdom.
The Productivity Commission has noticed the missed potential of part time or absent females in the workforce in terms of gross domestic product.
In my preferred reality, the Productivity Commission would place higher value on strong family foundations, from infancy onward and including elders having an active role in the community.
So many of the modern social issues with disconnection (drug, alcohol and abandonment), isolation and many mental health issues are rooted in familial stresses and changes.
The work becomes how we can better support families so that women can participate without being penalised for prioritising their family and how children and the elderly can be cared for by loved ones in strong, connected communities.
In short, we must challenge the stereotypes which create work stresses and make family our highest priority.
Now that would be real progress.