Bolton, Michele Kremen 1952-
Bolton, Michele Kremen 1952-
ADDRESSES: Office—ExecutivEdge of Silicon Valley, 18 Park Ave., Los Gatos, CA 95030.
CAREER: Consultant and author. San Jose State University College of Business, San Jose, CA, professor of management; The Learning Curve (consulting firm), founder; ExecutivEdge of Silicon Valley (executive development and management consulting firm), Los Gatos, CA, partner; Center to Develop Women Entrepreneurs, founder.
AWARDS, HONORS: Various faculty awards from San Jose State University.
The Third Shift: Managing Hard Choices in Our Careers, Homes, and Lives as Women, Jossey-Bass (San Francisco, CA), 2000.
SIDELIGHTS: Michele Kremen Bolton is a management consultant and professor whose first book addresses a dilemma of contemporary women. The Third Shift: Managing Hard Choices in Our Careers, Homes, and Lives as Women is based on Bolton's three-year study of women in California's Silicon Valley. The "shifts" Bolton discusses are 1) time spent at the workplace; 2) time spent caring for the home and family; and 3) time spent worrying about the other two shifts. This third shift is the time during which a woman worries about her performance, identity, and whether she is meeting all expectations of her, both at work and at home. Bolton notes that women often impose an "internal glass ceiling" of their own.
Bolton is not critical of men, but she does cite a study in which 2 percent of male supervisors said they felt female subordinates faced hardships because of their gender, while two-thirds of the women studied said they faced such hardships. She also contends that while modern fathers want to maintain a better balance between work and family, they do not face the pressures of their partners. "American women are caught in the cultural schizophrenia of mutually exclusive expectations, facing increasing pressure (and opportunities) to assume increasingly active responsibility in the workplace," Bolton writes, "while at the same time encouraged to remain in traditional roles in a society hammered daily by haunting media exposes of neglected children…. On the other hand, the second income of working women makes our consumer society hum."
Bolton offers tips for dealing with the first and second shifts, including how to handle household tasks. She also strongly recommends time off for renewal, noting that the crucial "third shift" is also experienced by stay-at-home mothers and entrepreneurial women. A Publishers Weekly contributor called the volume "an engaging look at the work-family conflicts faced by many professional women."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Bolton, Michele Kremen, The Third Shift: Managing Hard Choices in Our Careers, Homes, and Lives as Women, Jossey-Bass (San Francisco, CA), 2000.
Publishers Weekly, July 3, 2000, review of The Third Shift: Managing Hard Choices in Our Careers, Homes, and Lives as Women, p. 60.
Women in Action, April, 2003, review of The Third Shift, p. 31.
Women in Business, January-February, 2001, Rachel Warbington, review of The Third Shift, p. 15.