WHY WOMEN STILL CANíT HAVE IT ALL
To-day Wednesday November 11th I received an email from Hilary Clinton regarding her concession speech to the country in the wake of her loss to Donald Trump for the presidency of the United States of America. Hilary gave her whole life to trying to make her country better and be a positive role model for little boys and girls that they could believe that if they but tried they could make a difference. Americans were not ready to embrace the concept that it was time to elect a women and instead elected a billionaire business man. Perhaps my column can answer some of the question why women can not have it all.
Many female CEOíS find themselves falling off a glass cliff. For many years we have been taught that women are trying to break the impregnable glass ceiling that more then often impedes their way to the executive office. Now we have women who are stuck between a hard rock and a glass cliff and face certain failure. Women can choose not to take on the perilous roles, resisting the fear knowing that it will be their only chance, to take the job and more than likely fail.
Marissa Mayer took two weeks maternity after giving birth to twins and she worked a impossible 130 hours a week being careful how much time she slept and when she went to the bathroom struggling to turn around Yahoo. But was she hired to fail?
When Yahoo appointed Mayer as itís new chief executive officer in 2012 many writers thought that it was a turning point for womenís achievement. Yahoo had seemed to break all of the rules: Marissa was a female and pregnant and had a great resume after succeeding at Google. She was the sixth CEO at Yahoo in five years to try and turn around the company. When companies are struggling and under-performing they bring in talent from outside of the company: a fresh perspective over-achiever to throw at the problems.
Society still expects a man to be a leader and a woman to be a Super Woman. But, when women fail to move the galaxies in orbit and turn around struggling economies and corporations they are often looked at as failures who are doomed from the start. That leaves women who want to break down the glass ceiling stuck on a glass cliff .
The Atlantic magazine`recently had an interesting write up: ``Why women still can`t have it all". It is still not a fair playing field for males and females in the work force. Women who wish to have children when they are youngish, late thirties, are at a distinct disadvantage when they opt to take some time off for maternity leave. Their male partners can be for the most part time sperm donors who feel that they have contributed their part to the partnership. After the moment of conception the male executiveís spouse has problems dealing with his wifeís pregnancy and the parenting part of the marriage obligations.
Many corporate fathers do not see in their busy job description time to nurture their spouse or take care of the children that they have fathered.
Too many of our young women that I see are perfectionist wanting to do it all and have it all before they face exhaustion and dismay at the ground rules. The system makes no allowances for women who have the double, doubtful, impossible task of trying to compete in the executive office designation while trying to be competent spouses and parents.
If one of the young children wakes up with a fever in the middle of the night you can not send them to school in the morning for the teachers to take care of their health needs. Someone has to stay home: guess who? Dad is way too busy flying to far off to designated meetings to take care of the children. Perhaps that is the reason why very few female wives of executives do not/can not choose to work outside the home.
My father used to boast that he left home on Sunday night and arrived home Friday evening after my brother Jack and I had gone to bed. He never ever made a bed or cooked/paid for his food when he was on the road because the company picked up the whole tab for his travel expenses.
We are educating our young women to believe that they can be anything that they want to be if they but persevere. It is a fair playing field for educated executive women if they choose to not have children or have a partner who is willing to take their fair share of the responsibilities involved in parenting. None is too many for many corporate Canada/America males who are willing to have their wives have it all.
Now, the sea horse has the answer to our dilemma of how women can still have it all. When the female becomes pregnant she deposits "their" fertilized eggs in her male partnerís abdomen for him to carry for the duration (30 day gestation) of the pregnancy.
I wager that we would have far fewer unwanted pregnancies if the macho males had to go through nine months of child bearing before giving birth. Take a moment "girls" and broach this great new idea to your husband and see the terror in his eyes at the prospect.
Until business industry and government can see that it is important and in the best interest of Canadians to have viable families with women and men being able to share equally in the work force/parenting we will have women that can not have it all. Perhaps with fewer births that is why we have a declining enrollment in our schools?
If things do not change they will stay the way they are and our women will still face glass ceilings and glass cliffs.