Anne-Marie Slaughter has exploded the conversation around women’s work-life balance.

Why you should listen

Anne-Marie Slaughter has served as the Dean of Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and was the first female Director of Policy Planning for the US Department of State. In late 2013 she left Princeton to assume the presidency of the New America Foundation. With her husband, Slaughter has also raised two sons. And she is on the record saying that integrating her remarkably high-powered career and motherhood was doable when she had the flexibility to control her own schedule, but impossible once she was no longer her own boss.

In a 2012 article for the Atlantic that became the magazine’s most-read ever, Slaughter dismantles the recently-popularized notion that women who fail to “have it all” lack the ambition to do so. Instead, she argues that the way most top jobs are structured, including the expectations of workers regardless of gender, uphold slavish devotion to work above family life or other passions. Creating a more flexible work environment would benefit not just individual women and men, but society as a whole. It is unacceptable, she argues, that a desire to spend time with one’s family should be cause for shame.

What others say

“Why should we want leaders who fall short on personal responsibilities? Perhaps leaders who invested time in their own families would be more keenly aware of the toll their public choices -- on issues from war to welfare --take on private lives.” —

Anne-Marie Slaughter’s TED talk

More news and ideas from Anne-Marie Slaughter

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