chapter  11
26 Pages

Patchworks: women, millennials and Third Acters

This chapter uses the patchwork as a metaphorical lens to look at the synergies between three demographics that the author regards as key to shaping the future of work: women, millennials and what have been called Third Acters. Cultural anthropologist Mary Catherine Bateson, daughter of the 20th-century sentinel figures anthropologist Margaret Mead and systems theorist Gregory Bateson, was also a lover of patchwork quilts. Women leaders are increasing in number and high numbers value coaching as key support for their development. The globalisation of work has brought much to lament and challenge: from a loss of security and a degrading of professional identity, to the increasing prevalence of zero-hours contracts and the explosion in the precarious freelance life. The image of the patchwork is an image of diversity, integration and harmony, whereas the most common image women apply to their lives that of juggling, expresses separateness and tension.