Everyone seems to have an opinion about Anne-Marie Slaughter ’80’s Atlantic cover story on work-life balance. The thought-provoking feature has sparked hundreds of blog posts and debates, set new Atlantic bests for Web traffic and Facebook buzz, and landed Slaughter on a tour of interview stops, including The New York Times, NBC’s Today, and NPR’s Fresh Air.
Slaughter, the former Woodrow Wilson School dean and current Princeton professor, writes about the realization, after two years working a “dream job” at the State Department, that “juggling high-level government work with the needs of two teenage boys was not possible.” She goes on to deconstruct some of the common views of how to “have it all,” as well as barriers that stand in the way of balancing career advancement with a healthy family life.
While Slaughter has critics from several camps, her own take has remained steadfastly constructive, pushing for people to reexamine workplace norms and echoing her conclusion from The Atlantic:
“We may need to put a woman in the White House before we are able to change the conditions of the women working at Walmart. But when we do, we will stop talking about whether women can have it all. We will properly focus on how we can help all Americans have healthy, happy, productive lives, valuing the people they love as much as the success they seek.”
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