I had a fascinating conversation with a co-worker last week about the idea that women can have it all. We can have high-powered careers and be dedicated to spending time with our families. I believe this is true to an extent, but neither men nor women can find true balance if they consider work to be significantly more important or pressing than other areas of life.
Many people in powerful positions are required to work extremely long hours and travel often. That effectively makes it impossible to be the kind of parent most of us want to be. Again, this is true for both men and women. What is important is balance. We must make time for family, friends, and outside interests.
The real issue here is not whether women can have it all. What we should be asking ourselves is whether, as a society, we place too much importance on work. And whether we compensate our workers fairly. Many men and women are overly ambitious when it comes to career because this is what our culture praises. And many others are forced to work long hours just to make ends meet. We need to reassess our priorities in order to work towards a society that facilitates a healthy work-life balance.