We recently shared our podcast interview with Dr. Louann Brizendine, who is a best-selling author, neuropsychiatrist, and founder of the Women’s and Teen Girls’ Mood and Hormone Clinic. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller “The Female Brain”, which has been translated into more than thirty languages and has sold close to a million copies, and a few years later she authored “The Male Brain”. Her books are a testament to her life’s work and dedication to understand how the brain works as a complex system and influences our overall health and wellbeing.
Angie and I were thrilled when we were given the opportunity to speak with Dr. Brizendine on an episode of the HumanCurrent podcast. We had previously read “The Female Brain” as a part of our office book club, and after having some rich and interesting discussions about it, our team felt deeply inspired by her research and desired to learn more. We collaborated together to craft some of our curious questions for Dr. Brizendine. We wanted to know more about how modern-day life affects the female brain because we are an office of mostly females, who recognize the struggle to find balance in work, home, and personal life.
So, one of the questions we decided to ask Dr. Brizendine in our interview with her was, how does she think modern-day life has influenced the female brain?
She gracefully explained that many years ago in Western culture we had many layers of human connections with close family and friends who often shared the responsibilities of raising and educating children and caring for a home. So, this lifestyle worked in favor of the female brain and even created a biological safety net for females to manage their stress hormones.
In contrast, Dr. Brizendine explained that our current lifestyle goes against the grain of female biology because it is driven by a cultural construct which promotes isolation. She even stated that modern-day life is almost “like fingernails on a chalkboard” to the female brain.
While exploring this question further, we learned from Dr. Brizendine that many professional women will chose workplaces that support family life and they will stay employed with these organizations for longer. This would explain why family-friendly policies, which allow for and encourage time-off for caregiving, are becoming more critical to recruiting and retaining females in the workplace.
At the HumanCurrent, we can definitely vouch for the importance of work-life balance. Our office is family-friendly, we practice flexible work space and work hours, and we often encourage each other to take care of ourselves and our families first, because ultimately this allows us to perform at our best at work. We have a small work staff and many of us are women, wives and mothers, so we greatly appreciate each other’s tolerance for life interruptions. It is a careful balance of holding each other accountable, and yet giving grace when needed.
Dr. Brizendine has helped us in our journey to understand how complex systems influence our lives and our work. She has helped us feel empowered with a new understanding of our innate biology, and we thank her for taking the time to talk with us about the female brain as a complex system.
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