I found your article fascinating and enjoyed the perspective that it presented. There is one point that I think could have been emphasized: Most of those driven, married-with-kids, "successful" men can only do what they do career-wise because they have a wife who looks after all the home-related issues that they don't have time for. This is generally true even for two-income families where the wife is a working professional.
In contrast, working women usually don't have that luxury — they're going to rely on their husband to cook meals, clean, change diapers and iron? I don't think so. Sure, they can hire nannies, but it's not the same thing. I think that our definitions of success are deeply skewed and in my view, it's a sign of health and progress that more women aren't opting for the stressed-out, competitive, ego-driven top jobs when they have the choice.
In a different context, I found it intriguing that on an all-women climb of K2, the second highest peak in the world, a number of the women chose not to try for the summit because they had children. They didn't want the possibility of leaving their kids without a mother. I have never heard of a male climber making that choice based on those reasons. Obviously, women do have different priorities and thank God for that.
Our Readers Respond
- Feedback: Where Are the Women?
- The Tradeoff That Women Do Not Want to Make
- "Love" Is Spelled T-I-M-E
- Finding Myself, When I Never Knew I Was Lost
- Flexibility, the Prerequisite for Success
- Hard at Work, or Hardly Working?
- Men Behaving Inefficiently
- The Right People in the Right Jobs
- Labeled as Lazy
- Freedom of Choice
- Skewed Definitions of Success
- Anatomically Incorrect
A version of this article appeared in the February 2004 issue of Fast Company magazine.