Can women really have it all?
That was the utterly ridiculous question in the headline of a BBC article about Jacinda Ardern resignation. Recently, when Susan Wojcicki stepped down as CEO of YouTube, these questions came up again. I've seen similar topics as far back as 2022, when Sheryl Sandberg decided to call it quits, and as recently as last week, when Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland, decided to step down.
So, basically, all of these articles are saying the same thing: “Being a woman leader is extremely difficult; they're always tired and stressed out, and they have way too much on their plate. Plus, they miss their families and just want to go back home.” When was the last time you saw similar articles when a male CEO chose to leave his position? NEVER!
And, get this: these articles don't even mention the extra crap that women in upper management have to put up with. Like, they deal with subtle acts of exclusion every freakin' day, have more work dumped on them, and are supposed to be the poster child for diversity etc.
On the other hand, I saw some other articles with a different spin. They claimed that women are “conveniently abandoning” their prominent leadership positions and thus are potentially “reversing” all the hard-won progress towards gender equity in the workplace. It's insane that now we have to stoop so low as to accuse women leaders of being selfish. What a shame!
Ok, so here's the deal: sometimes after years or even decades of doing the same thing, leaders can get really tired and just need to take a break. Their gender doesn’t matter.
Unfortunately, there aren't enough women in top positions, so when one leaves, it can be a real bummer. But hey, it's their decision, and we should respect that. Actually, we should totally celebrate these women for being such rockstars and showing everyone what's possible. So, can we all do that?