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What men really want, and how they “have it all”

dad_kids_laptopAre you following @manwhohasitall on twitter? I’ve concluded this satirical (and scarily familiar) account of “top tips for men juggling a successful career and fatherhood” could only be authored by a woman.

The basis of my assumption? Career men wouldn’t think about spending time on social media sharing the ins and outs of their work and life.

So why do women? What is our fixation all about? Can there even be life without “having it all”?

It’s been three years now since Anne-Marie Slaughter’s essay on “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All” was published in the Atlantic and reignited the conversation by women all around the world on how to balance a successful career with parenting.

Women have posted, reposted, shared and dissected what it takes to navigate on-ramps and off-ramps and climb up and down or off the ladder.

The plethora of networking events, self-improvement courses and health and lifestyle services directed at women who seek balance in their lives have continued to balloon.

Meanwhile, men just quietly get on with doing it.

Why is this, I wonder?

With the exception of the recent article by Andrew Moravcsik – Slaughter’s husband – on the role of lead parenting and why he put his wife’s career first, very little comment seems to be made by men.

Are men just less inclined to share? Or is it that women talk too much? If we let them, would men reveal more? Or is there some other way to unearth their opinion?

Last month I shared details here of the survey my friend Lisa Lintern and I are working on with the goal of gaining insights into how men and women juggle their work life with their family life. Do they share similar experiences or is there a level of inequality in terms of the support that they get?

If you’ve completed it, thank you. We’ve had over 200 responses to the survey already, and the insights are building. But only 25% of those responses are from men. And so we really need to find a way to get more men involved.

It seems that getting men to share their experiences on work and life isn’t easy, but it’s vital to understand how both genders are making “work” work for their families in 2015.

So, if you are working in an office with male colleagues, or you have a male friend or partner or brother or dad or uncle who may be willing to take 5 minutes to share their experiences about work and parenting – please forward the survey link

Interestingly, several men have approached us with suspicion asking what this exercise is really all about. Is this another man-bashing exercise? Far from it. Our motivation is simple, we’re curious to understand the mechanics of how families and careers function, given the changing roles and dynamics and pace of work and life today.

You can access the survey here and we’d love your help in having as many XY voices in the mix as possible.

Thanks in advance for helping us spread the word, and including men in the conversation.



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2 months ago

Jen Dalitz

What are the lessons you’re teaching your kids? We took the opportunity of a holiday long weekend to visit my mum interstate as the timing of the trip coincided with my son’s favourite AFL team battling it out against my mum’s beloved team. Perhaps only those of you with the love for AFL will appreciate why we’d plan a long distance trip around a game of footy, but suffice to say it was a passion project! With every ounce of anticipation, the game was a tough, tight duel and could easily have gone either way. Yet when the final siren sounded, it wasn’t our team that was smiling. It sure is tough for a 10 year old boy to sit within a crowd 41,000+ people all cheering for the opposite side. It was tough for him to see the exhaustion and disappointment on the faces of the players he adores. And yet, it’s so important for him to learn that his team won’t always win. There’s so many lessons in that, but the one I chose to instil is that you won’t always back the team that wins but you’ll always back the team that you love. That’s why I asked him to wear his team colours home the next day, and show his support even when the chips are down. That’s the kind of commitment I want my son to learn and the kind of team player I want him to be. PS. #gotheGiants @GWSGiants #neversurrender ... See MoreSee Less

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4 months ago

Jen Dalitz

I haven’t been here in a while as the writing has been on hold. But I was reminded today that there are things in our life that light us up. That might take us out of our comfort zone but, once you sit with it, bring you both joy and a sense of “I can do this” achievement. These moments are such a gift. So I’m curious, what’s your special thing that lights you up?

Despite (or in spit of) my professional career, these moments for me normally involve my horses. I’ll never be an equestrian Olympian, but I take great pleasure in all the lessons my horses teach me. They remind me that it’s a team effort, we’re in it together, and that if I’m prepared to give a little bit more, they will too. That’s true whether we’re on the ground taking care of their feet, or grooming, or when I’m atop riding as one. Two hearts one team.
It’s hard to describe the adrenaline and joy they bring to my life. But I’d love to know, what lights you up??
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And so, maybe time does change some things. Or women do.

Skavlan Talkshow
– They let me go at 42 because they told me I was too old to represent women's dreams. #kvinnedagen

Watch our talk show interview with Isabella Rossellini here:
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