Lean In, Ban Bossy, brogrammer culture, Ellen Pao, German board rooms creating quotas for women, am I missing any progressive women in the workforce memes? Work ladies. It's the only good way to live. Don't betray what those feminists fought for, but don't worry, a man and a kid will be waiting for you at 37. exactly what is the drive here? What is the end result? The average American household earns +/- $50,000 a year, but the average American salary is closer to $37,000. Say it is a decent job, so it is $50,000 per year, but what is it? What is the sacrifice for? I have pointed to the end result for selfish carousel riders before, so now let's look where those readers of Lean In will end up.
It is very obvious women do not want high paying jobs or else they would gravitate towards IT, oil, gas and even mining, and when they go into medicine, would work over 30 hours per week >eyeroll<. What women truly want is to work jobs where they can wear a suit, give presentations and lead meetings while they recount numbers or spit out buzzwords, earn 75K or more and maybe get the brass ring of an executive position that they think means huge money but less work with occasional business trips to sexy cities like NYC, LA, Miami and Chicago. Maximize compensation, feel strong and independent and minimize grunt work. Being able to dress snazzy when they want is a key because just doing white collar production work would mean they couldn't peacock. This is the Lean In crowd. They want the COO of Facebook job, but have zero chance at it. What they will still shoot for is 75K and above, doing scheduling, training, marketing, coordinating and other vague jobs that someone else builds the basics for and they just find a way to pretty up and deliver.
Lean In girls are not ready for it. They can work their way, if competent and especially if cute, to the 75K job, but an incredibly small sliver will hit meaningful six figures. It is not sexism, that is a small sliver for all Americans. The annual income 1% line starts at $250,000, and a lot of value transference sales people are in that 1%, but sales involves hustle so fewer women go into it. Many that do are cute, marry and opt out. Who stays? The flakes will fall off, the women who balance work and home will make it in incredibly small numbers, the fashionable grrl power types will opt out, but the steady Peggy Olsen types can make it. They might marry. If they do, kids won't enter the picture. They can be competent, great workers, but they hollow out emotionally. Their career death rattle is a death screech.
I resigned last week, as I prepared for my new job. I worked for ten years under an end result that the Lean In types would love: a woman with vice president in her title, who spent the last decade earning 1% annual income. No kids. Business trips were to second tier cities. Long hours. No kids, so not taking vacation days due to how stressful work is hurts no one but the cat. The competition got intense for her because at a certain level politics enters managing your job, and self-preservation kicks in. No kids, so the department she built is all she has. People have been leaving and complaining when they go, so will they yank her? Will they take away her baby? No kids, so employees became her surrogate children, adding an emotional element to any changes at work. Work becomes the family, and that can be dangerous. You're leaving, why are you rejecting me? I resigned and watched a 61 year old act like a 16 year old in her office. No kids, so she never learned that sometimes you don't have an answer and there are things more important than work.
The employees who had the worst relationship with the childless Boomer female boss were working moms. While the childless boss could not comprehend an employee not being as invested in something as her or leaving early for family reasons, the friction with working moms was palpable. There was that unspoken intra-female "the cause" argument being lived out in real time. Her favorite female underlings were those without kids and those married who kept their name. A working mom asking for help with work-life balance? "Go back to your desk, figure it out and cry in a stairwell if you have to." You hear that story when you take the stairs to sneak out to lunch early and catch a peer crying. Once you see it in one, you see it in others. The best thing kids do for your career is that reminder that it... is... just... work. Not all childless employees or managers are like that, but there are enough that like a SWPL dressing a cat and putting it in a stroller, these people have turned work into their everything.
This is where you end up if professionally successful Lean In girls. You're working on your career hard in your 20s? If things go well, you'll be making 50K a year not 200K a year, so don't wait until 35 for a husband to show up. The unsuccessful or average don't even get the big bucks to buy trinkets and provide cover for emptiness later in life. Blowing small work related things up into the most important focus of the week only to be replaced by another come Wednesday. No family at home. Eventually evaluating every working relationship as to how people may challenge or usurp you. No family to see you in old age. I'm sure >eyeroll< your subordinates who you favored will visit you in the nursing home. No woman can have it all. Even getting success in that work realm is a materialistic success and fraught with dangers. Think of where the road ends. Choose wisely.