Just Because Men Aren’t Asked This Question Doesn’t Mean Women Shouldn’t Answer It | Linkedin

It illustrates why the debate around having it all rages incessantly not merely as a theoretical matter of public discourse, but as a relevant and practical matter of fact in the minds of many women. That there are countless column inches dedicated to the issue of women having it all and barely a word in the reverse is as telling as anything in this realm. For women having it all, shorthand for having a career and a family, is something of a mythical work in progress that relies on having a mixture of the right partner, an enlightened employer and the right support network. For men, having a family and a career is simply life. In that light questions to female leaders along these lines are frustrating. Earlier this year Tracey Spicer wrote a fantastic piece pleading with journalists to stop asking women how they do it. Last week, speaking at a My Agenda event in Sydney , Microsoft Australias managing director Pip Marlow was frank that always being asked how she juggled her career and her family was frustrating considering her male peers were never asked that question. But she said she came to recognise another factor at play. That is, because there are still so few women in senior roles, it is incumbent upon those females who are there to be honest with younger women about how they got there. As part of the throwing down ropes to those behind you (as opposed to lifting up the ladder as you scale the ranks) females in senior roles have to shed light on the things that have made it possible. To give future female leaders tips, hope and moral support. As the number of women in senior roles grows this will obviously become less important but for the time being its critical. In that regard Telstras head of strategic finance Cynthia Whelan made a salient point.
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