I enjoyed the letter that Alexandra Chang wrote to you in the latest issue of WIRED – it has inspired me to write one of my own. I want to tell you what I think about your enlightening new book urging women not to shy away from ambition and leadership. But first, a little bit about why I’m writing you…
Since my teenage years, I’ve felt strongly that women had something particular to contribute to a healthier world. For my undergraduate studies, I choose Mount Holyoke College – a beautiful, rural all women’s college – in hopes of finding role models that would inspire, create, and contribute to a more feminine world. I hoped these role models could help me figure out how to find the freedom to be my best self and support other women to do the same. While studying Biochemistry didn’t exactly get me any closer to that goal, it was a part of my path to naturopathic medical school and midwifery, where it seemed I’d finally found a feminine paradigm for medicine that supported women to be free of the beliefs that don’t promote self-love.
Now that I’ve just finished reading your book, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, I must say that I’m heartened by many of your suggestions and glad to see you open up a new chapter in the ongoing conversation about women, work, and family. As you point out, thirty years after women became 50 percent of the college graduates in the United States, men still hold the vast majority of leadership positions in government and industry. And so, I think it’s important that you are encouraging women to “sit at the table,” to seek challenges, take risks, and pursue their goals.
That said, I don’t think it’s enough to offer strategies for women to better succeed mostly by acting like men in a man’s world. Rather, for women to be better represented in government, higher education, corporate boardrooms, and public life, I think we need to reimagine what work looks like.
Read the rest of Dr. Naumes’ letter over at DMoms Blog.