Can Women Have It All?


In the latest issue of The Atlantic magazine, Anne-Marie Slaughter writes about how difficult it is for women to maintain a work-life balance amid super demanding 10+ hour work days:

“In short, the minute I found myself in a job that is typical for the vast majority of working women (and men), working long hours on someone else’s schedule, I could no longer be both the parent and the professional I wanted to be—at least not with a child experiencing a rocky adolescence. I realized what should have perhaps been obvious: having it all, at least for me, depended almost entirely on what type of job I had.” The piece has generated some controversy over whether or not women can, in fact, have it all.  Especially in America, where the emphasis on career, success, and climbing the ladder is a huge part of the culture. As Slaughter states, “I still strongly believe that women can “have it all” (and that men can too). I believe that we can “have it all at the same time.” But not today, not with the way America’s economy and society are currently structured.”

The article also quotes Mary Matalin, who, after spending a few years in high-level positions in the White House before leaving her post to spend more time with her family said, “Having control over your schedule is the only way that women who want to have a career and a family can make it work.”

Slaughter writes about the millions of working women who face even greater challenges in the quest to “have it all.” From single mothers, those struggling to find a job, those supporting their unemployed spouse, unavailable or unaffordable daycare circumstances, school schedules, and more: “Many of these women are worrying not about having it all, but rather about holding on to what they do have.”

“We are the women who could be leading, and who should be equally represented in the leadership ranks … Only when women wield power in sufficient numbers will we create a society that genuinely works for all women. That will be a society that works for everyone.”

So, we wanted to put the question out to you, do you think women can have it all or do you agree with the author, is it nearly impossible to juggle a job and family whilst on someone else’s schedule? Let us know what you think by posting your response under this thread in the Forums. Let’s get a good (and respectful) discussion going!

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