working moms (written in 2011)

More intelligent people with access to mad stats have written much on this topic, but I think the lack of women in the upper ranks in law, finance, and film, among other places can’t just be in part due to unfriendly attitudes to ladies — I think we lose female talent because they are the ones who have babies. (This is not to pooh-pooh workplace sexism, because I believe that stuff is still present…as is workplace racism. Oh, the comments I could share! They are delightful.)

Once a woman decides to have a child, it is extremely difficult to climb corporate ladder like a monkey on Aderall. Children demand your time, mental real estate, help, consciousness, imagination. The housework alone that comes with a kid is mind-boggling, so unless you are outsourcing your childrearing, I don’t know that one can put in the minimal 60-plus hour work week and travel demands of the upper crusty gigs around these parts. Higher-rung gigs means long meetings leading to Numb Bum, travel, politics – none of which are my favorite.

I actually need to work — not just for the money, but for the structure, intellectual stimulation, adult time, hours outside the family, house, etc. Of course, children can be a source of tremendous delight, but how many games of peek-a-boo do you have in your day

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