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4 Work-Life Balance Stories Every Woman Should Read

These recommended reads include takeaways you probably need to take to heart.
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It's been more than three years since Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg gave her famous Lean In TED talk, and encouragingly, the conversation about women and leadership continues today, but with a greater number of -- and more varied -- views than before. 

For example, in a keynote at New York University's annual Women's Entrepreneurs Festival this week, New America Foundation CEO Anne-Marie Slaughter said there was a problem with her own 2012 editorial "Why Women Still Can't Have it All." It downplayed the role of men in helping to solve gender inequality issues, she said. 

Slaughter said society expects women to be successful at being a caregiver and a competitor, while men are only valued on their ability to compete. However, emphasizing that women and men have the potential to play both roles levels the playing field. The entire talk is worth watching. 

TED just published a blog post that includes further reading on women, men and company culture. From the article, here are four intriguing works you might want to pick up: 

1. Wonder Women: Sex, Power, and the Quest for Perfection

In this new book, President of Barnard College Debora Spar points to recent research that shows how women's lives have changed over the past 50 years. She argues that as women have reached for power, they've gotten themselves stuck in an impossible quest for perfection.  

2. "We're All Bystanders to the Sandberg-Mayer Mommy Wars" 

In this piece for New York Magazine's "The Cut" writer Ann Friedman says that everyone deserves the opportunity to have work-life balance, not just women with children. "'Work-life balance' has become synonymous with 'upper-class working moms,' and that's a problem for everyone," she says. 

3. Women Don't Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide

Ten years ago authors Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever took a look at the wage gap for this book. They identified a fundamental difference between both men and women -- men negotiate to get what they want, and women tend not to. 

4. Sheryl Sandberg's 2011 commencement speech

In this speech, Sandberg called gender inequality this generation's moral problem. "We need women at all levels, including the top, to change the dynamic, reshape the conversation, to make sure women's voices are heard and heeded, not overlooked and ignored," she said.

You can read the full TED blog post here. 

Last updated: Jan 17, 2014

LAURA MONTINI | Staff Writer

Laura Montini is a reporter at Inc. She previously covered health care technology for Health 2.0 News and has served as an associate editor at The Health Care Blog. She lives in San Francisco.




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