Thursday, July 16, 2009

Work-family "balance" or "choice"?

In this piece from the Wall Street Journal, General Electric CEO, Jack Welch, pulls no punches in telling working moms that if they choose to spend more time with their families, they are likely giving up the highest levels of career advancement. Thus, he says, there is no such thing as work-family balance, only work-family choices.

He makes some valid points, but he takes his argument to an extreme and among the things he leaves out of his analysis is the fact that working fathers are equally susceptible to being “left back” for not being there "in the clutch,” as he puts it.

In fact, working fathers who spend "too much time" with their families may be even more stigmatized than working mothers, as it is less expected of them to leave work early for the ballet recital.

Do you think Welch's views are representative of today's corporate CEOs, or is he part of the old guard, being replaced by a younger generation of corporate leaders who are more attuned to the work-family balance needs of both men and women?

1 comment:

  1. Maybe he's representative of a collapsing world order. We need to look beyond who is rich, powerful and/or running things and instead ask, "Who is happy? Who is not afraid? Who lives on their feet and not their knees?" Do the "highest levels of career advancement" lead to the highest levels of happiness, not to mention to the world we personally want to live in?

    We all need to make a living and survive, none of us need to "advance" in that sort of way; certainly our kids would benefit more from us being involved than from advancing and leaving them a lot of money to waste along with stunted work-ethics (having watched us give up everything for a hollow brass ring).

    Namaste, Bruce


We welcome many points of view and great discussion. However, please be aware that comments go through an approval process. The blog administrators reserve the right to not post or delete any comments that are not appropriate (ie: comments with obscene, explicit, sexist, racist or otherwise derogatory language), impolite (ie: comments containing personal attacks, insults or threats), dishonest (ie: potentially libelous comments), or are spam. Thanks for understanding!