Work Pause Thrive by Lisen Stromberg is a book that delves into what it means to be a professional who is also a woman, how the current paradigm makes it difficult advance when you’re a woman with children, how only allows for one-half of a couple can focus on work when they have children and how changing the entire views and, thus, programs at both a company-wide and countrywide level will benefit not only mothers but also fathers, children and the company’s bottom line.
This book is not a light read, but it is worth it if you are currently or if you will be both a professional and mother or if you’ve already had to pause from your career after you became a mother and you’re not sure whether you can get back into the game (you can!), if it’s worth trying (it is!) — and then how — if you somehow are less than your working counterparts (you’re not)
Work Pause Thrive does this based on interviews that Lisen Stromberg with hundreds of women as well as 1500 responses from real moms who responded to the Women on the Rise survey. She talks to the very women who would have benefited from her book, had it existed prior to her writing it. Their experiences show how mothers are often treated and devalued in the workplace and how professional settings make it difficult to be both a mother and a career woman.
In this book, Ms. Stromberg discusses specific and actionable ways to deal with your work pause, starting with planning and figuring out the financial cost. She advises the reader on how to negotiate a pull-back from her job, how to stay relevant even when she’s focusing on her family, and how to create the on-ramp to get back to work.
The author reiterates the importance of parental leave in Work Pause Thrive, not just for moms but for dads as well. She points out how providing full, paid leave to any parents isn’t just fair, but it’s crucial to for families. And by providing on-site childcare, flexible schedules and other related benefits, companies don’t just improve morale, but they save money when it comes to employee retention.
Ms. Stromberg also does an excellent job at highlighting companies who value their employees, including those who are parents, and offers assistance or programs that allow employees to reach their full potential in every aspect of their lives.
Lisen treats professional mothers as valuable in a way that their employers and the world sometimes do not. I think that this enables women who read Work Pause Thrive to feel more confident when it comes to determining their roles at home and at work, and Lisen points out how crucial that confidence can be to finding the right life-work balance. After all, these are college-educated women who are good at their jobs. Why shouldn’t they be confident?
And while not the main focus of the book, the comparison between the United States and other countries regarding parental leave and universal childcare are not just interesting: the difference is sometimes astounding and even embarrassing for me to read as an American.
I’m not the demographic that Work Pause Thrive is aimed to. I’m almost fully positive that I don’t want kids myself. However, some of the women Stromberg quotes and discusses are similar to me as a freelancer. And all of them could have benefited from this book.
I wouldn’t necessarily recommend Work Pause Thrive to child-free folks, but it is eye-opening if you’re at all interested in mothers in the workplace, feminism, the shortcomings of the American dream or modern marriages, just to touch on a few things. And if you are the college-educate woman who is trying to have it all, you’re going to realize that not only can you find balance, but you’re certainly not alone in your feelings and experiences while you’re trying to not just survive but to work, pause and thrive.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.