Behind Every Businesswoman

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This week, we came across an article in Businessweek called Behind Every Great Woman by Carol Hymowitz. It explores the changing rules of many modern families—as more women earn high-level corporate roles, more husbands are staying home to raise their children.

And since 23% of wives now out-earn their husbands, women now fill a (slight) majority of the jobs in the United States, and on average, women 30 and younger make more money than their male counterparts in all but three of the country’s largest cities, according to Businessweek, we found the article to not only be relevant, but validating.

But it also stirred up some mixed emotions.

To illustrate the trend, Hymowitz tells the story of several different working women whose husbands are now stay-at-home dads, including Leslie Blodgett, the founder of makeup company Bare Escentuals, which she sold in 2010 for $1.7 billion. The author describes Blodgett as feeling envious of her husband’s close relationship with their college-age son, and lamenting the sacrifices she’s made over the years to get where she is today. The article also states:

“Like hundreds of thousands of women who have advanced into management roles in the past two decades—and, in particular, the hundreds who’ve become senior corporate officers—she figured out early what every man with a corner office has long known: To make it to the top, you need a wife. If that wife happens to be a husband, and increasingly it is, so be it.”

All of which left us wondering:

Is feeling guilty about not spending more time with your children still more prevalent in businesswomen than in businessmen? Will that ever change?

And to make it to the top professionally when you have a family, do you really need a wife or husband? If so, will men ever be as willing as women to assume the roles traditionally associated with wives?

Meredith Landry is Role/Reboot’s Managing Editor.

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