Now is the Time for Work Life Integration
How Our Instincts Serve Us
As Americans, we enjoy many freedoms and privileges thanks to our founding ancestors. A reminiscing mind would feel negligent to exclude major inventions, innovations, battles fought and deeply impactful sacrifices made.
There is one critical life preserving and enduring heirloom we often overlook or take for granted. Our inherited instincts, or encoded ancestral memories are called to action when we are met with the ubiquitous, unavoidable “new experience”. The impulse to survive is stronger than fear, and is the foundation upon which we successfully empower our intuition to navigate an intentional path forward.
Generations have relentlessly applied this gift of instinct and intuition to alter future paths for the better. When America won her independence, infant mortality rates drove the overall life expectancy to an alarmingly youthful 38.
How To Find Truly Original Solutions
Fast forward a few hundred years, their multifaceted, cross generational efforts to protect and prolong existence have ensured we on average have the chance to live twice as long. They did this not by looking backwards to how their parents and grandparents lived before them, but rather by finding truly original solutions with the opportunities and tools as they presented themself. Inevitably, this led to an entirely new set of challenges for each subsequent generation to address and overcome.
So here we are in 2022. We have new resources to enrich and improve our longer, healthier lives in America. Problem solved, right? Do these instincts and intuitions suddenly just lay dormant and complacency takes the wheel?
Of course, the answer is a resounding no. As President Biden acknowledged in his delivery of the State of the Union, we have our generation’s work cut out for us. Particularly when discussing the disparities women face professionally which have only recently received overdue national attention because of the pandemic.
Why Existing Solutions Will Not Lead to Real Change
On many occasions, Biden has voiced his concern for the debilitating pain points women experience, from questioning self worth, to pay inequality, to how our economy has suffered in the wake of women’s lowest participation in the workforce since 1988. The economy may be showing healthy signs of growth as of President Biden’s SOTU, but we know that women are not positively impacting this trend.
Over 1,000,000 men returned to the traditional workforce in January 2022, versus a mere 39,000 women. Women continue to leave the workplace in droves. In this same month, an additional 300,000 women signed a resignation letter. We know the implications are wide, varied and the repercussions will be felt long after our time of generational impact.
The President stated that investing in American workers will build the economy “from the bottom up and the middle out”, and that expanding the Child Care Tax Credit will benefit female workers. Unfortunately, the solutions provided thus far to improve the American working woman’s experience are well intended, but short sighted and do not address the nuances of a larger cultural crisis perpetuated by traditional definitions of work and home life.
Tax credits and the American Rescue Plan may provide breathing room. But how will our government help women breathe when there is no air left? American women deserve candid discussions that lead to real solutions.
Where We Go From Here
So far, we are left to figure it out ourselves, oftentimes alone and isolated in our seemingly futile efforts. We need innovative and creative ways to receive support from our elected officials.
If the answer to realizing a better America is to build the economy from the bottom up and the middle out, we must allow ourselves to see beyond the corporate red tape, and constraints of our current economic system. Even with limited resources available in our current reality, women are finding ways to redefine professional success on their terms.
Our administration should allocate more time to explore these solutions to scale a work-life integration movement beyond an updated tax credit or an occasional mention of inequality so that no mother, no caregiver, has to navigate a path to fulfilling all of their responsibilities alone.
A New Recipe for Professional Progress for Women
We cannot solve today’s problems with yesterday’s solutions. Women need support and resources from the administration now in order to effect real change. We are asking for a new dialogue that supports women’s ability to earn money while taking care of their loved ones.
Technology makes this possible and opens doors in an unprecedented way and can reshape the world. A new, more inclusive infrastructure is on the horizon. Web3, Decentralized Autonomous Organizations, NFTs, Cryptocurrency and many others can be viewed as elements of an ecosystem that affords us the opportunity to fulfill our generational responsibility to emancipate both women and men from a broken and dated approach to work and life integration.
Emerging systems share fundamentals that terrify the current forces controlling our economic system: flexibility, autonomy, technology, quality, environmental responsibility and equality. As President Biden stated in the SOTU, if polled privately, our representatives would agree that certain practices currently in place are flawed.
Our instincts and intuition will prevail. Proactively exploring new paths to improve our lives now is most prudent, and will empower future generations to fight for enduring success in their mission to preserve and elevate our lives as Americans.
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