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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Working Mommy Wednesday

Welcome to another week of Working Mommy Wednesday! This week's prompts are:
  1. Who is an inspiration to you in the workforce?
  2. What’s it like reconnecting with your children on the weekends? Do you find yourself swamped with chores, how do you find balance?
Since starting my career in toys, I've looked for women leaders in toys for inspiration. I started by reading "Toy Wars", a story about Mattel's bid to buyout Hasbro. Jill Barad was highlighted as CEO of Mattel but by the time I had read about her she had resigned in 2000 after three years - which had followed a 15 year career at Mattel. Wow, must be hard to sit at the top as a women, I thought.

Jill is responsible for rebranding Barbie in the 90's and in 1995 created the tagline "We Girls Can Do Anything" which meant Barbie could be a dentist, lawyer, doctor, etc. Sells exploded as Barbie became a symbol of achievement rather than just a sexy doll. That year Barbie represented $1.4 billion in sales or 35 percent of Mattel's gross revenue.

In 2000 she made a bad decision in acquiring The Learning Company, lost 50 million and was pushed out of the company.

I've googled her name over the years thinking she'd have moved onto another toy company but she disappeared. I found one article saying she moved her attention to nonprofit organizations. Recently, at a Women In Toys event, I heard they had wanted to give her the top award for her work at Mattel but she never responded.

I moved onto other business women who wrote books about their career success but have noticed their struggle after leaving the corporate world.
  • Carly Fiorina writes about her career before and after becoming CEO of Hewlett-Packard. After being dismissed by HP's board, she has dabbled in politics, first as an adviser to McCain in 2008 and in 2009 a failed political run in California.
  • Carolyn Kepcher writes about her career in the Trump Organization and The Apprentice. Following her departure from both, she's attempted to create two websites for women, both seem to have failed because the links go to a dead zone. I've followed both websites with excitement, anxious to see what wisdom and advice she may have but since both have disappeared without notice I have to conclude she's been unable to make them work.
In summary, I've learned to look closer at the women who directly surround me in the work force, including those of you who join WMW. I see awesome examples of how to balance work and kids from all of you who respond every week and this has become my inspiration. I'm always thrilled for all who respond. Thanks for being an inspiration to me!!

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