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My Letter To Melinda Gates

Melinda,

Thank you! I’m so glad you’re inviting collaboration as to how we can change the workplace for our future. As a fellow Fuqua graduate,  I have seen so many bright and talented women hindered by the weight of running what I call the “Family Business” as they try to maintain or advance their careers. Some call this the “invisible work” of motherhood and others “emotional labor,” but I think to surface solutions, we need to frame the conversation in a way that furthers understanding of what it means to run a household and parent in the digital age. The infographic below aims to make what is often imperceptible visually clear.

The “Family Business”

 

[imagelinks slug=”hifaf-familybusiness-infographic”]

[download id=”13315″]

 

As companies continue to address gender imbalances in the workplace, I wonder if the answer lies beyond pro-family policies, and whether we should be looking at technology for solutions. So many of the tasks I do in a day are redundant and time-consuming from filling out permission slips with emergency contact information to optimizing my children’s after-school schedules while also factoring in transportation and childcare logistics.

In the same way that OpenTable made booking restaurant reservations so easy and TripIt made accessing travel itineraries so seamless, I need a slick system to support the running of the “Family Business.” Increasing productivity at home would go a long way toward increasing productivity in the workplace.

Here’s a proposal: Companies that understand the need to help women get more leverage on the home front could sponsor a Developer’s Challenge with an open invitation to women to surface the best ideas. What a multilateral partnership this could be and what an impact it could have on how we reconstitute our last-century constructs and gendered roles!

I would love to contribute to such an initiative and have many ideas for technology development. I welcome your thoughts and any opportunity for more collaboration!

Julie Paul
Founder, Heard It From A Friend

It’s Time For Our Voices to be Heard:

Do You Like the Idea of a Developer’s Challenge?

 

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Let’s continue this conversation with Melinda. Click here to share your thoughts.

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