Today Show: How Should Women Balance Work and Family?
Can women really have everything? Can they have the career they want as well as a family they can grow with? It has always been a battle for women to figure out how to balance their work and family, and with so many different women to turn to for inspiration on how to live a balanced life, it can make things even more confusing.
The COO of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, wrote in her memoir that she thinks women are stalled where they are. She said she has heard women say they are leaning away from their job because they want to have a child or they are focusing more on their career than their family at home, but she has never heard a man say either of those things to her. Even she said she feels guilty at times for the choices she has made to make it to the top of the corporate ladder.
Erin Callan, former CFO of Lehman Brothers, wrote in the New York Times that she feels bad for investing so much time into her career. She felt as if she was talented and energetic enough to still make it to the position she did without having to sacrifice time with her family. Both of those accounts seem to be in direct contrast with Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and her view that work may be even more important than her family, something she made clear when she only took a few weeks off for maternity leave.
Today Show: Can Woman Have It All?
The Today Show wanted to get some insight into the topic so they talked with economist Sylvia Ann Hewlett, Dr. Sue Varma and magazine editor Galinda Espinoza to find out what all three think about balancing work and family.
Hewlett said it is great to lean in and grab ahold of something in your career because it shows ambition, but she also pointed out everyone needs “sponsors” on their career path. She said men have twice as many sponsors as women when in the workplace and it helps them have more time for their work and more chances for promotions.
Dr. Varma said women have a hard time acknowledging their own hard work. They always account their success to hard work or luck but never to their own core skills and how well they can perform their job. She said it goes back to the debate of nature versus nurture. Men have more testosterone in their bodies meaning they are traditionally more competitive. Women have less testosterone making them less competitive and more communal with other people. For women, they turn to the community for survival and not to their competitiveness.
“It is all about knowing when to be competitive and when to be liked,” Dr. Varma said. “You can be a friend after negotiations.”
Hewlett said it is also important to find a good spouse who can be an equal with a woman in all aspects. From the home to the job, this person needs to take on their fair share of the work.