Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Do Men Care About Work-Life Balance?

After the publication in the Atlantic of her article, “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All,” Anne-Marie Slaughter received a number of emails from men deploring the ways in which their jobs deprive them of taking part in family life:

Roughly 15 to 20 percent of the responses to my article that I have personally received have been from men. Many are from fathers who are very unhappy with the choices their daughters face. Others are from young men who want to be able to spend more time with their children and be fully equal parenting partners with their working wives but feel they don't have those options either. Indeed, a number of men have written to bemoan the strong gender stereotyping that they encounter, whereby a guy who wants to take paternity leave, flex-time, defer a promotion because the job up has too much travel, or simply needs to leave at 6 every night to pick up his kid from daycare, is regarded as insufficiently committed to his work or else just "not one of the guys."

Here is her brief Atlantic article, “Work-Life Balance as a Men’s Issue, Too.”  At The Careerist, Viva Chen has her doubts:

But what I'm not convinced about is that men are drumming for change. In the world of Big Law and Wall Street, I haven't seen much evidence of it. While I know plenty of men who have dropped out of pressured professions, there also appears to be a surplus of men eager to replace their vacated spots in the rat race. I often hear about how promising women decide to get off the partnership track, but promising men seem to stick it out.


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