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"Stop Telling Women We Can’t"

"Stop Telling Women We Can’t"

Renee Weisman | Excelle

Recently an article was published in the NY Times arguing that the current labor market is punishing to mothers. As proof of their argument, they point out that the two women who just were appointed to the Supreme Court (and one who was nominated but withdrew) were never married. Jack Welch, former CEO of GE argued in an article in the Wall Street Journal that there was no such thing as work-life balance and women who want it that will never make it to CEO. Another Times article surveyed female students at Yale and concluded most planned to leave the workforce after having children.

The implication from these articles and other recent publications is that women can’t reach the top rungs of industry because we

a. take time off to raise a family
b. aren’t willing to make the sacrifices required to reach the corner office.


The path to CEO or Supreme Court Justice or any other position of prominence requires sacrifices, for men or women, but articles like these assume women aren’t willing to make them. Moreover, they reinforce the notion that businesses don’t need to adjust, women do. No wonder bright and capable working mothers are leaving industry and business, often to start their own companies where they are not held back by the prejudices of others.

Instead of rationalizing that the women are opting out because we choose to have families, perhaps we should instead consider how to help women with families find the opportunity to excel. And we should stop finding fault with women, or men, who work hard to achieve these goals.

Let’s look at some facts. Yes the two new females on the court are unmarried but… Sandra Day O’Conner and Ruth Bader Ginsburg had successful marriages and 5 children between them. Sandra Day O’Conner even took a 5 year leave of absence when her boys were young and still made it to the top.

Consider the CEO’s of the Fortune 500 companies. Yes, only 15 are women, but 85% of these women are married with children. It is possible to have a successful career and a family.

Much depends on the choices women and men make. But companies can help by creating an environment to keep their top women and nurture a pipeline of future female executives and leaders. I use the typically female verb nurture as opposed to establish, on purpose. Women naturally nurture and an environment that enables them to do so, both for their company and their home life will keep the pipeline healthy and full.

Next Page: What can companies do? →

  • Greceaaaa2_max50


    almost 3 years ago


    Nice meeting you here, how are you today i will want us to be friends contact me here with my e-mail address ( ) because i have a special reason why have contacted you so that i can send you my photos and also tell you more about myself here is my e-mail address( ) you can also drop me your email mail address i am waiting to get a reply from you remember that co-lour, language or age and distance does not matter but understand matters
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  • Book_max50


    over 4 years ago


    While the photo my show a super girl, that is not the point of this article. The point is that companies can do a lot to encourage working mothers. Equal pay for equal work goes without question. But if a working mother chooses a less intense path for a few years, she should not be written off permanently.

  • 2010-06-24-200651_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Please! Screw all that super-woman propaganda. Start paying women the buck you pay men for performing the same tasks for the same job description. I doubt seriously that there is any question as to whether or not we can, no matter what some repressive hinderer is telling himself and his cronies. We prove everyday we can, some chauvinist's freedom of expression be damned. Having established that reality on too many fronts, let's start getting PAID for all we do.

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