Monday, January 10, 2005

Even Celebs Wrestle with Work Family Balance

An article in Salon looks at the Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston breakup as an example of how women are still chided for putting their career ahead of motherhood.
Jennifer Aniston failed to reproduce with her husband, Brad Pitt. But her failure -- as reported between the lines of every story we're reading -- wasn't simply a fertility issue. It was an unfathomable -- though possibly temporary, at the precarious age of 35 -- prioritization of her career over her family. It was an instance in which we were treated to the sight of a woman we like, openly wanting to get further ahead professionally before giving over her life -- and yes, her body, which is a serious commodity in her business -- to the demands of childbearing and child rearing. And clearly, it still makes us uncomfortable.

And of course it's not just the movie stars that face this dilemma. An article in Fast Company claims that the wage-gender gap is solely related to women switching their priorities from career to family.
...Then consider the evidence that until kids enter the picture, women earn as much as men -- and often even more. Don't believe it? Check the census data on earnings of never-married men and women. Women don't hit an income gap until family responsibilities factor into job choices.

I have my own ideas on the reason for the wage gap which have to do with women willingly accepting lower wage entry jobs but I'll save that for another time. Suffice it to say that even being rich, famous, beautiful and married to the "sexiest man alive" doesn't exempt you from the difficult decisions related to career and family.


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