BusinessWeek jumped on the “Mormon Moment” bandwagon this week with a story entitled, “God’s MBA’s: Why Mormon Missions Produce Leaders.” I found the article pretty accurate based on what I know of the Church’s missionary program. However, I was disappointed that women were mentioned in the single context of stay-at-home-moms. I’m not surprised that this aspect of Mormon culture receives so much attention. I don’t feel Mormons do a great job of communicating the success of our women and the expectation that they contribute to society in ways outside our immediate families.
I know there are going to be some Mormon readers of this blog who will disagree with my point of view – and that’s OK. In fact, my objective is to represent the difference of opinion that co-exists within our faith and present a perspective missing from the BusinessWeek piece.
I didn’t grow up anywhere near Utah and I didn’t attend a Church-owned college – please don’t misinterpret snark in that comment – I’m merely pointing out the fact that I’ve never lived in a place where Mormons were a majority and I developed my religious convictions independent of Mormonism being the social norm.
I don’t believe that a woman’s responsibility to raise children, as outlined in The Family: A Proclamation to the World, requires that she give up worthwhile goals outside the home, but I admire women who fall on both sides of this issue. My mother stayed home to raise eight children and I absolutely love and adore her for that. On the other hand, I chose to pursue a long-life career and have seen my family and the Church benefit from the talents I develop in the workplace.
For example, the women’s organization in my congregation is blessed with leadership and professional experience across multiple industries including medicine, business, finance, education, research and technology. The entire congregation benefits from the strength and faithful service of intelligent and successful women who have dedicated their lives to the pursuit of improvement – in whatever venture they chose. As BusinessWeek points out – we do believe that hard work is an eternal principle and a divine characteristic.
However, contrary to what’s implied in the article, Mormon men are not the only ones who feel that way. God is pleased when we, as women, also use our talents in any capacity for good whether it is at home, at church, in our communities or in business.
Women, do you agree?