Why Caregivers Should Lean In

Many women tell me that Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In is not applicable to them. “I’m not interested in building a high-powered career, I am interested in building a well-rounded life,” they say. That’s exactly why they should lean in at work.

We know that female caregivers often suffer career, and therefore, financial, setbacks due to caregiving. According to The National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP female caregivers are more likely than males to take a less demanding job,  stop working entirely, and losing job related benefits. That is a risky proposition in today’s uncertain economic times, especially for women who have longer life expectancies than men and need to fund their own long-term care needs and retirements.

Yesterday I blogged at The Huffington Post about why women, especially caregivers, should lean in to their careers whether they are interested in advancing to the corner office or not. By leaning in we can build up equity and trust at work. And when we need flexibility to take care of caregiving responsibilities, we can trade on that equity so that we don’t have to lose our jobs.

As I wrote on the Huffington Post, “If I had not leaned into my career early on, if I had not built up trust with my coworkers and my clients, I could never have managed my personal life these past few months and held down my job. If your employer doesn’t know that they can trust you to get the work done anywhere, anytime they’re less likely to grant you flex accommodations. The number one reason young women should lean into their careers early on is to build the equity they’ll need if they become working mothers and working daughters and inevitably need flexibility.”

You can read the full post here.


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