Under Construction

Original image via Flikr by compujeramey

Hi there. It’s been relatively quiet around these parts while life offline has been wonderfully hectic. I’m working with Bentley University’s Center for Women and Business along with ten amazing women developing a report on advancing women in the workplace. Our final product will be delivered to the White House, folks. Yep. THE WHITE HOUSE! I am honored and humbled to be a part of such a project. Beyond The White House, it will also be delivered to key corporate leaders and circulated throughout the media. I’m excited beyond belief. It’s nothing like writing a blog post so the process has been interesting – remembering how to do proper research and cite sources and write something informatively persuasive – yes, it has been like being in school all over again.

That said, this space is on pause for just a couple weeks more, perhaps less. Thank you for sticking around while I flex these non-blogging writing muscles, they were rusty. If I can, I’ll share the report here when all is said and done. Once the report is done, I’m diving into a little site revamp. it’s kind of, sort of underway. I’ll be back shortly with plenty to say and a brand new sparkly site.

Happy Autumn!

How To Retain And Advance Women In The Workplace

This sponsored post is part of a campaign presented by The Mission List. I’m lending my voice to an idea exchange led by Bentley University’s Center for Women and Business on the topic of retaining and advancing women in the workforce. The idea exchange provides a platform for women to share their experiences in the workplace and ideas for how businesses can help women successfully climb all the way to the top of the corporate ladder. I figured what better way to join the conversation than by addressing Yahoo’s new CEO, Marissa Mayer who’s currently the center of a frenzy of media attention for being knocked up her new position.

Dear Mrs. Mayer,

Above all else, congratulations on your pregnancy. Coming in second place, a big, badass high five on your recent professional score with Yahoo. Your life and, let’s be honest here, your body are changing in new and challenging ways.

As I’m sure you already know, you’re journey into motherhood as a leader in the corporate world is a privileged one. You will have luxuries available to you others do not. You’re in a financial position to make certain choices your average woman can’t. I use the term loosely, though, because the privilege (well earned, I may add) which will allow you certain freedom with motherhood and work, will also make you the target of tremendous scrutiny, of the variety no one should ever have to endure as a new mother. I hope you are given the respect all women deserve to make the choices you see fit for your family and your business without being made out to be a spokesperson for anything other than your own priorities.

I’m not saying you’re off the hook on the whole women in the workforce front. You do have a responsibility to women to set an example. Here’s the thing you need to remember – YOU personally do not have to be the example. Your style of mothering, your choices as a mother are not the thing everyone should be taking notice of because those are deeply personal. The most important example you will provide is the corporate culture you foster within your company. How you choose to listen and respond to the women in your company, the policies you introduce, the programs you build, the partnerships you create, how you pave the road for the Marissa Mayers of tomorrow.

You are in a unique position to influence corporate culture in America not by the choices you make as a mother but by the choices you make as a leader.

I’m working with Bentley University’s Center for Women and Business on an idea exchange amongst women who are or have been in the workforce. We are sharing ideas on how to make corporate culture more conducive to keeping women on a leadership path. Because you aren’t receiving enough unwarranted advice, here are some of the ideas being shared in that space and of my own concoction.

Food for thought but hopefully fuel for action.

-Select willing female leaders in your company and assign them as sponsors to women earlier on in their careers. As participant Christine points out “sponsoring is more than just offering advice – but rather being strategically engaged, actively advocating and opening doors to… opportunities“.

Provide extended paid leave and job security options for parents. Create policy which prioritizes your employees values along with their professional ambitions. Project participant, Gillian, even suggested a leave swap bank which allows for employees to donate their time to employees who need it.

Go beyond the culture you create with your employees and make Yahoo a name synonymous with addressing women’s needs. Like Forbes recently suggested, it’s the perfect time to acquire or partner “with properties specifically relevant to women, like Pinterest, ShoeDazzle, Gilt Groupe, BabyCenter, Oprah, People, Etsy, Ellen Degeneres, Martha Stewart (or BritMorin.com).”

Make alternative work schedules the norm. While this impacts both men and women, it becomes a tremendous aiding factor for women juggling motherhood and a career. Or for father’s who choose to take on a bigger portion of the care giving responsibilities. As idea exchange member Melanie points out, it’s as much about family as it is about moms.

Introduce leadership development early on in a woman’s career. Invest in them before they get to the top and before they get off the leadership track.

Corporate culture in America needs a swift kick in the pants to make female leadership a priority. I don’t have expectations that one woman will make all the necessary decisions to bring into fruition the paradigm shift that’s needed. But knowing the road you’ve traveled to get to where you are, I know you are the kind of leader the corporate world will listen to. So be the mother you want to be for your child. In a perfect world, no one would pay any mind to the choices you make as a parent. I haven’t given one thought to the parenting choices of male leaders of any Fortune 500. I ask you to consider being the leader you need to be for women today and tomorrow. While it may sound like a lofty and idealistic request, I believe putting women at the fore front of your priorities in business can only prove profitable professionally and personally.

In closing, Mrs. Mayer, I invite you over to the idea exchange hosted by Bentley University’s Center for Women and Business – join the conversation, share what helped get you to where you’re at or just test drive some of the ideas. Thank you, ever so much, for reading one more blog post on your recent success.

Ever Grateful,

Carla M. – Corporate America Worker turned Freelancing Work At Home Mom




After my first daughter was born, I stayed in corporate America because I was allowed a flexible schedule which made me feel valued as both an employee and as a mother. Without the alternative schedule, I doubt I would have stayed. What do you think corporate America should be doing to help mothers juggle a career and motherhood? If you’re really passionate about the topic, I urge you to head over to the idea exchange I mentioned above. Get involved, share your ideas and your experience. Help Bentley University’s Center for Women and Business bring the best ideas to the White House Council on Women and Girls and to CEOs from America’s largest corporations.


Things That Make You Go Hmm #5

The things that made me go hmmm recently.
From me to you.

A gem found here.

 Engrave it on my soul. Or just buy it for me here.

Who knew a video could make you believe in a book (that doesn’t exist yet) so much? Lucky for us, it’s real now.

“Everyone has ocean’s to fly, if they have the heart to do it. Is it reckless? Maybe. But what do dreams know of boundaries?”
Amelia Earhart discovered in this inspiring video.

More words for stirring the soul.

“the waves of the sea, help me get back to me.” – Jill Davis

“It’s so hard to forget pain, but it’s even harder to remember sweetness. We have no scar to show for happiness. We learn so little from peace.”
-Chuck Palahniuk

The UK will make foreign language learning a requirement in schools starting at age 7. Hellooo! Can we step up to the plate, please?

20 years since the last presidential debate was hosted by a woman? You’re kidding, right? Change that. Stat.

When your kid says “I hate you” for the first time, get them a cake? BTW, this site? Which claims it’s where women go when they want to be selfish  with mention of Sassy and Jane (R.I.P.), well I might have to stick around a bit.

I worship the sun. So anti- everything we’re told these days. But I grew up in times of baby oil and foiled cardboard. So I opt for smart sun choices.

Things That Make You Go Hmmm #4

The things that made me go hmmm recently.
From me to you.

Seems like the simplest & most romantic of ideas. A date. On your fire escape. In the city. It makes me warm & fuzzy.

This dress.

In all it’s glory. It doesn’t scream. It proclaims. I own this.

I am tempted to scrapbox their entire childhoods.

-I am addicted to my new daily random pieces of knowledge from Now I Know. Most recently telling time in the dark with your mouth.

-I need to see more art that makes me feel like “I’ve no right words for how magnificent, strong, beautiful, melancholic, dark, and brilliant I found this exhibition, but I wish I could go again and I wish you could come with me.”. Yes, art like that.
-I Knew You’d Be Lovely is the last read-at-a-stoplight book I read. Here, the author shares some recommended reading.
-“Each time [a CEO outlines] a future that comes true, he demonstrates his own competence and reinforces trust.” Me thinks this applies to leadership in all its forms – in the household, in relationships, within ourselves. Lead well, friends.
-The topic discussed is wonderful but better yet is the intimate feeling of reading an exchange between two people, neither of which is you. Done any copying lately?
-Alanis Morissette on attachment parenting, “…most, if not all of us, want the same thing and have different ways of getting there winds up being the moral of the story.” Please read. Thank you.

Business Card Giveaway

This is a sponsored post. I’ll be receiving a set of business cards equal to the prize package in exchange for this blog post. If you’re interested in doing your own giveaway for business cards from UPrinting, read the official disclaimer at the end of the post.

When the vision for this blog was taking shape and I planted my feet firmly in the concept of mothering, I knew it had to be as much about the care of the individual as about the care of one’ s passion. It’s not been the easiest lesson for me to mother my writing but the more I do, the more I move toward my goals.

The big “aha” has been approaching my writing as less passion and craft and more as a business. I’m not tooling around with a hobby. I’m working my ass off at the thing which brings in the moola. So when the opportunity came up to do a giveaway for business cards, I jumped on it. I need business cards and I really, really want to be able to give the prize away to someone who is taking the steps to turn their passion into a business.

So read on and find out how you can enter to win 250 business cards from UPrinting.

Prize Information:

  • 250 Die-cut Business Cards for one (1) winner
  • 2×3.5? Rounded Corners, 2×2? Rounded Corners, 1.75×3.5? Rounded Corners, 2×3.5? Leaf, 2×3.5 Rounded one corner, 2×3.5? Half-Circle Side, 2×3.5? Oval, or 2.5? Circle
  • 14pt Cardstock Gloss / Matte / High Gloss (UV), or 13pt Cardstock Uncoated
  • 6 Business days print turnaround time
  • Free US shipping only

Contest Closed Giveaway Entry (open to U.S. residents over 18 years of age)

AND THE WINNER IS…Christina! Congratulations!

Mandatory Entry: To be entered to win, you must visit the UPrinting Business Cards page and leave a comment letting me know which die-cut card shape you would choose if you win.

Additional Entry: Become a subscriber to the All of Me Now newsletter. Click here to subscribe. Leave a comment letting me know you’ve done so.

Deadline & Drawing: The contest will run one week until May 9th when a random winner will be selected. Good luck!

The official disclaimer from the powers that be: You should assume that I will receive free print products in exchange for the post. Any and all reviews posted are based solely on my own experience and may be atypical. Please practice due diligence in making any related purchase decisions. Interested to hold a giveaway like this? Please sign up here.