Originally posted on Gigaom:
Want to start a flurry on the internet? Wade into the always fraught discussion about how women should balance work and family commitments. Any piece on the topic is bound to spark a raging debate as Princeton professor and Obama administration official Anne-Marie Slaughter recently confirmed with her Atlantic article, “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All,” in which she discusses at length her decision to give up a high-powered State Department job to spend more time with her teenaged sons.
With its catnip title backed up with a thoughtful exploration of a difficult and emotional issue, the article has generated a predictably frantic round of response and recrimination online. But even for those who weren’t dying for another rehashing of the limitations (or lack of them) society and biology puts on women’s life choices, the piece offers food for thought, particularly for those thinking about the future of work and the role of remote collaboration.
Slaughter bemoans the “culture of ‘time macho’—a relentless competition to work harder, stay later, pull more all-nighters, travel around the world and bill the extra hours that the international date line affords you—remains astonishingly prevalent among professionals today.” And argues that it’s time to decouple face time and achievement in favor of more tech-enabled flexibility not just for women but for all workers. She writes: