Remember the old saying “behind every successful man is a woman.” Do you imagine it being said by some back-slappy asshole in condescending fashion? I do. But what about when the roles are reversed and the man is the one in the background?
IBM recently named Virginia (Ginni) Rometty as the first female CEO in the company’s 100-year history. The Times did a piece on her husband saying his career took a backseat to hers and lauding him for it.
A few things struck me about this article:
1) There’s a double standard that when a man quits his job to stay home with the children, or puts his career on the back burner for his spouse, it must be because he couldn’t be very successful.
2) Women do this all the time – quit their jobs, or slow their careers down for husbands, for children, to care for aging parents – and nobody throws them a parade or writes an article about their sacrifice.
3) There’s a line where Ginni Rometty talks about how she wasn’t sure she should take a job because she didn’t feel ready. Her husband said “a man would never say that.” I love stories like that, that remind women not to apologize upfront, to just go in and take it. Hell yeah.
4) The article talks about how most CEOs are married and many have spouses who have put their careers on the back burner. I’m wondering, in a relationship/family, can both people be hyper-ambitious in their careers at the same time, particularly if they are parents?
So, Kvellerites, I’d love to know what you think. Anything about this article chap your ass? Ring true? Irritate? Enlighten?