In the July/August issue of The Atlantic, Anne-Marie Slaughter explains quite frankly why she believes it's impossible in today's workplace environment for a mother to successfully balance a full-time profession and raising her children.
In the article, the 53-year-old former State Department official describes how, after a lifetime of aspiring to be where she'd finally arrived professionally, she stepped down from her powerful position to spend more time with her two teenage sons.
"The minute I found myself in a job that is typical for the vast majority of working women (and men)," Slaughter writes, "I could no longer be both the parent and the professional I wanted to be."
Slaughter's argument isn't just that full-time work and being a mother doesn't work for her, but that it can't work well for anyone (unless, "they are genuine superwomen," Slaughter writes).
It's not a matter of commitment, dedication or sequencing. Even marrying the right person won't necessarily work, because, according to Slaughter, women have a tougher time prioritizing their jobs over their children than men do.
"I do not believe fathers love their children any less than mothers do, but men do seem more likely to choose their job at a cost to their family," Slaughter writes, "While women seem more likely to choose their family at a cost to their job."
As someone who comes from a household with two parents who worked full-time through most of my upbringing, I found this article fascinating. And as someone who's spent enough time on the North Shore to know there are both many men and women with plenty of professional accomplishments to their name, I thought it made sense to bring this piece to readers' attention.
So what do you think? Does the workplace environment need to change so that women don't need to make the choice Slaughter made? If so, how? Did you in your life feel confronted with a similar decision?
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