The Hello Bar is a simple web toolbar that engages users and communicates a call to action.

Calling all women lawyers in the Chicago area

Women lawyers in Chicago: Do you have five minutes to complete a survey about how you “balance” work and the rest of life? The questions are easy, and everyone who participates gets a coupon for $20 off a 60-minute massage at Urban Oasis. Please share this with other female lawyers in the Chicago area — they’ll get the massage coupon, too.

Here’s the scoop:

A Chicago-based startup called The Legal Balance is relaunching later this year with a new suite of offerings designed to make it easier than ever for women lawyers in Chicago to develop their businesses, connect with potential clients and referral sources, and manage their lives. The Legal Balance wants to elevate the conversation about the advancement of women in the legal profession. Which is why they need to know what would help YOU the most.

Please click the link to answer the questions and print your Urban Oasis coupon. Remember, it should only take five minutes to complete: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/TheLegalBalance

Don’t wait … the survey closes at midnight on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013.

Community Is Our Power

Today our friend Patty Lennon over at Mom Gets a Life has some thoughts to share about how women can leverage their natural ability to socialize. Read on …

By Patty Lennon

When I was little, and my mom was bored, we’d pack up the old stroller and head down the street to visit a neighbor.  Back then it seemed those visits were all about us kids.  Now that I’m a mom, I realize those visits to neighbors probably kept my mother sane.

Today most of us don’t live in that kind of neighborhood. We find our communities other ways: in schools, places of worship and even on meetup.com.

One of the greatest gifts we have as women is our ability to leverage socializing.  We raise money, change school policies, change public policy and have parks built — not with brute strength but with strength in numbers.

When I decided to launch the Mom Gets A Business Conference, many experts guided me to go out and seek sponsorships from big brands with deep pockets. I didn’t buy it. Don’t get me wrong.  I love deep pockets, but I knew an easier and quicker way was to call upon the community that led me to launch the Mom Gets A Business Conference – moms.

Last week I launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to do just that.  I’ve been thrilled by the support and funds flowing in from regular, everyday not-deep-pocket moms.

We hit 20 percent of our goal on Day One.  The “experts” were surprised.

I wasn’t.  Of course we did well – we are moms, serving moms and being supported by moms.  There is nothing we can’t do. Life can feel overwhelming for many moms, especially in our current environment.

If you are in need of a little support, go figure out a way to be with your community.  Talk.  Ask for help.  Give help.

It can be scary to reach out.  We face rejection. But community is how we get things done. This is our power. And right now, the world needs our unique form of power!

Patty Lennon is the CEO of Mom Gets A Life and the founder of the Mom Gets A Business Conference.  If you’d like more information on the conference or how you can support her crowdfunding campaign visit: www.supportmombiz.com.

We Were Supposed to Have It All … Instead, We Learned to Multitask

Our generation was told we could be anything — and we heard, “You must be everything.” And so we became multitaskers, ferociously and relentlessly. We learned to boast about how much we could do at once, how we could schedule a parent-teacher conference, respond to a client email and 1-Click order the latest parenting book from Amazon, all while listening in on a conference call from the sidelines of our kid’s soccer game. We built businesses while we were breastfeeding and learned to use Skype to be two places at once. History and technology opened the doors to Having It All — but no one told us that “all” is something we’d have to define very, very carefully.

This week in Crain’s Chicago Business, Becky writes about Having It All — and how, once we rethink what that means, the relentless multitasking will subside.

Read more here, and share your thoughts. How do you curb the urge to multitask your way through life?

Are You Dad Enough to Argue about Parenting Issues?

As I write this, it is 6 a.m. in the small apartment we’re renting in the inner west suburbs of Sydney, Australia, and Pete is making the girls some bacon and eggs while I putter around on my laptop. Last night, I ran to the grocery while he made dinner and put the girls to bed; the other day, I did laundry while he cleaned the kitchen. There was no discussion or delegation; we each jumped in where it made sense. In most respects, we’re moved past gender-driven division of labor. Neither of us is “in charge” of these things.

Which is why I read with interest this New York Times debate about whether dads are excluded and unheard when spats over parenting issues erupt in the media. (After all, some argue, we never hear about about the Mommy-and-Daddy Wars or have Time covers asking whether we’re “Dad Enough,” although my sister-in-law yesterday sent me a very funny “Dad Enough” spoof showing a man teaching a toddler to nurse a beer … )

It does seem that when we argue about parenting issues, moms lead the debates. Some of that is a vestige of old gender division. It may also be that women are more likely to get caught up in debates (and, perhaps, more likely to cast judgment) over parenting. I have to admit, I rarely hear men sitting around playgrounds whispering, “You know, he’s sending his child to Waldorf next year for preschool. Who knew he was into that kind of hippie education … ”

But I’m pretty sure none of that means modern dads care less about the big parenting issues than women. I don’t even think it means they say less, not when it really matters. They may get left out of news stories — let’s be honest, reporters are more likely to ask a mom what she thinks about a hot-button how-we-rear-our-kids issue — and they may spend less time talking about parenting with their friends. But these aren’t the real debates anyway. The real debates happen at home, when actual decisions are being made.

Dads are there — we just need to do a better job of reflecting it.

 

Entrepreneurship Isn’t Just for Extroverts

I learned a lot about what it means to be an introvert writing my Crain’s Chicago Business column this week. For starters, introversion isn’t about lacking confidence, being shy or having poor social skills. It’s about drawing energy from solitude rather than social groups.

What’s more, although extrovert traits often seem to be valued more, introverts bring equally valuable strengths to the table. They make excellent entrepreneurs, too. Check out the insights two introvert entrepreneurs shared with me, and then share some thoughts of your own.

Do you draw energy from being alone or with others — and how does this help you in work and in life? 

Should women get double the salary for having a baby?

I knew I loved Australia for a reason. (OK, my reasons for loving Oz are many; this next bit is really just icing on the cake. Or whipped cream on the pavlova, or chocolate on the Tim Tams, or whatever …) According to a story on TODAY Moms, an Australian company has instituted a new policy meant not only to encourage new moms to return to work, but to reduce the financial pressure that comes with it. When women at Insurance Australia Group return from their 14-week maternity leave, they will get DOUBLE the salary for their first six weeks back.

Sound great? Apparently not everyone agrees. Some commenters on The Grindstone felt it was unfair to those without children.

What do you think? Is it fair to give a new mom extra money when she returns to work?