Maybe You’ll Need A Stay-At-Home Husband? Female Executives Forego Kids, Marriage To Stay On Top!

March 6, 2014  |  

Let’s lay down the facts: 60 percent of male CEOs have a stay-at-home spouse while only 10 percent of female CEOs have the same luxury, ThinkProgress reports. The result? Women in executive positions find themselves in hair-pulling dilemmas when it comes to work/life balance.  And men? Not so much.

Due to harrowing thoughts of balancing a shrieking baby and an iPad, many female executives decide to forgo children. According to a study compiled by the Harvard Business School, male CEOs have an average of 2.22 children — high-ranking women have an average of 1.68 children. “Because I’m not a mother, I haven’t experienced the major driver of inequality: having children,” one of the surveyed women said.

Marriage, as you might expect, is another daunting thought for female CEOs. The high-ranking men in the survey didn’t seem fazed by the “I Do’s” at all. In fact, 90 percent of the men surveyed were married. By contrast, only 70 percent of women walked down the aisle.

“Women interviewed were more likely to say that they avoided marriage and children entirely because they don’t want to deal with the potential conflict,” Jessica Grose, a Slate contributor, wrote.

Men are put at ease when it comes to marriage and children — the stats show that help at home, which often satisfies the work/life balance, is more readily available for them. As these male CEOs see themselves the providers, they feel little remorse when they spend time away from their families.“Male executives admit they don’t prioritize their families enough, and they don’t seem too bothered by it,” Grose writes.

Also, consider this account from a divorced male CEO in the survey:

“Looking back, I would have still made a similar decision to focus on work, as I was able to provide for my family and become a leader in my area, and these things were important to me,” he said.

Women, on the other hand, are much more apprehensive about taking on such taxing duties.  One woman explained that she didn’t want to be put in a position where she felt ashamed for being more present at work:

“What is the most difficult thing…what I see my woman friends leave their careers for — is the real emotional guilt of not spending enough time with their children. The guilt of missing out,” she said.

For women in executive positions, lumbering up to the tippy top is already quite a climb. So it’s understandable that they might not want to jeopardize their standing in corporate America. “Nearly 30 percent of mothers have had to quit their job to care for someone, compared to 10 percent of fathers,” ThinkProgress adds.

But it can be done. Check out Ursula Burns, CEO of Xerox, with a 21- and 17-year-old!

Would you want a stay-at-home husband as you reign as CEO of a company?

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