Text Life Balance
Reaction to Anne-Marie Slaughter’s Atlantic article
Women and men across the U.S. are reevaluating the notion that woman can achieve high-level career success while raising a family. The debate was sparked by Anne-Marie Slaughter’s recent essay in the Atlantic titled ‘Why Women Still Can’t Have It All’.
Slaughter’s piece argues that men outnumber women in demanding, high-powered positions because the structure of those positions is largely incompatible with the demands of raising a family. Slaughter wrote the piece after choosing to step down as director of policy planning at the State Department to spend more time with her teenage sons. She’s since returned to Princeton University, where she is currently a professor and formerly served as Dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
Slaughter’s piece sparked a vigorous debate (her essay in the Atlantic was ‘liked’ on Facebook by more 144,000 readers as of this post) about how work can be structured to be more compatible with family life, allowing women and men at all levels to perform at their peak ability while raising a family.
As I read Slaughter’s solution for redefining how we work, I found that the structure and culture of Text100 already allows women and men to perform at very high levels while managing family life.
Slaughter suggests allowing employees to work remotely to accommodate family schedules or allow flexible work days where people can logoff when it’s time to pick up the kids from school or head to a game, and can log back on later in the evening to finish their day. Slaughter advocates placing equal value and respect on workers who prioritize family in addition to their jobs. Text100 staffers across the globe currently live and work according to these principles.
This flexibility goes a long way to create highly productive leaders with happy, healthy families. I don’t have children but I see Text100’s flexibility manifest in a high-performing, collaborative and creative work environment. We easily share and distribute work across teams, a move that elevates not only the flexibility of our consultants, but the quality of our product. Our efforts certainly have a sense of urgency, but our work environment is relatively low-stress and family life is valued.
As a hard-driving professional who someday hopes to have a family, I feel lucky to work in a culture that values both of my ambitions.
Editor’s note: This post also appeared on the Text100 Boston tumblr page. Check them out for posts about what it’s like to work at Text100, and everything from cupcakes to reality TV!