The topic of conversation that comes up time and time again for women in the workforce is retention. Even though women make up a greater percentage of the workforce (50.04% according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics), that doesn’t mean all gender problems are solved. Women are still making about 8 cents on the dollar, according to a report on the US Gender Pay Gap. A lot of the top paying states line the East Coast; does that mean my daughter should head east for college? Maybe.

The bigger question is, “Will my daughters ever see the day when people are paid for their competency?’

There’s a trending number of articles on why companies with female leaders make more money (as much as 15% higher revenues), but there is a culture gap to get there. In my coaching business, I encounter at least a woman every week who is the only female around the table. There are some eager, persistent women breaking the glass ceiling, but to get a wholistic look at that progress, we have to also talk about the opportunity cost for the kids. Work/life harmony is a big reason why women are leaving the workforce.

More and more women are solving culture and diversity issues by leaving the workforce to consult or start a new career. Forward-looking companies are making employee separations more amiable because they recognize that volatile separations actually create a brand risk. Those who are staying, though, are demand a different definition of normal, spawning a new breed of conscious capitalists.

I want to believe the workforce my daughters will inherit will play by a different set of rules. Starting the current in that direction, 360º Life Strategies is celebrating women’s history month with women making history... on the Women, Wine & Leadership podcast.


  • Donna Carlson

    Women's Leadership & Life Strategy Coach

    360º Life Strategies

    Women comprise 56% of the workforce but so many of us don't ask for what we want. Why is that? After a 30 year career accepting second best, living like a race horse held behind the start gate, Donna Carlson changed her strategy from being a thermometer - reflecting the mores of the world around her - to being a thermostat. Now Donna coaches women to own their personal style and leadership power.