Oct 16 2009

About men, women and everything else…

Published by at 9:51 am under Opinion,Top Stories

The Financial Times Deutschland (FTD) published its annual ranking of “Germany’s Top 25 Most Influential Businesswomen” today. What the paper didn’t write was even more interesting than what it wrote.

Here are a few “unwritten insights” the reader gets from the ranking and accompanying articles:

* Why Germany has the problem of too little babies and a shrinking population;

* That it is, in fact, not possible to do both family and a career (I’m talking about “properly”);

* That the problem of “too few women in senior positions in the economy” is not only caused by men. Many women understand it’s simply not possible to do both properly, and make a decision for children and against a full-powered career.

How can I say all of this? Well, on the list of 25 women (age 40 to 56) only 8 have children. Only two of the 17 childless women can theoretically still have children (not older than 45). So, the picture is pretty much fixed: Two out of every three senior businesswomen in Germany sacrifice children for their careers.

This is significant, because there are 2 big drives underway in Germany (under leadership of the family minister Ursula von der Leyen, a mother of seven children) – the one to get Germany’s women in the boardrooms of the economy and the second to push up the birth rate. Von der Leyen is often portrayed by the German media as this shining example of a woman who “has done it all” – raised six children and made a big career. (The fact that the husband stayed at home to raise the kids, is not always mentioned.) The underlying message is always: It is possible to get family and career in under one hat.

Of course, men know better. They know one can’t do more than one thing at a time – if you want to do it properly. The FTD’s ranking is more proof – if we needed more.

As far as men are concerned, the only remaining question is, when will the media stop raving about that (almost non-existent) thing called “the super-mom”?

Note: The author of this story is part of an arrangement where the man stays at home to look after the child and the household, while the woman “makes career”.

One response so far

One Response to “About men, women and everything else…”

  1. adminon 16 Oct 2009 at 10:07 am

    And male top managers…are they getting it in under one hat? I don’t think so. For the same reasons the women can’t do it.


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