Having Children is Part of the Career Path
as told to Susan Perlof
This is how the world looks for women and girls in 2020: Essentially, gender is a non-issue. A woman running for president is evaluated on competency alone, not the style or color of her pantsuits. The old hierarchical network – what we used to call the “boys club” – no longer impedes women’s achievements. Unlike today where mostly white males remain the norm, when we look across our corporate boardrooms, or our senate seats for example, in 2020 we see much more diversity and equality among those in leadership roles.
In terms of the academic arena, we also see greater gender balance: Over half of college enrollment is female, and women faculty members number almost 50 percent. Especially important, we see the ratio of women entering the science and technology fields continuing to grow.
Additionally, by 2020, the world and the workforce will have further adapted to the concept that having children is indeed part of the career path for many successful women. My mother was a nurse with a high-ranking position in a hospital, but every time she came back to work after childbirth, she lost time, benefits and status.
Happily, I believe we have gotten better at accepting and accommodating the “working mother” role with each generation. I have two daughters, ages 17 and 19, and it was much easier for me. I was blessed with a good infrastructure and a great husband, as well as a supportive company, and I kept on working throughout my child-rearing years.
I believe we will also continue to see more progress and opportunities for female student athletes. It’s funny: When I played basketball in school, no uniforms were available for girls. But, thanks to Title IX, not having great athletic gear is unheard of in my daughters’ generation.
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