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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 http://goo.gl/forms/eNtb5Q7qEA.

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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"The only moment we ever really have is this one - celebrate it. Happiness isn't in the future or the past but in the awareness of the present." - Anna McPhee

Anna's words are how she lived her life. She has been an amazing inspiration, a wonderful support, a gracious mentor to me throughout my career. So many of us counted her as a girlfriend to look up to, and her legacy will live on in the many women she has inspired to live their very best life.

I will miss her.

Sending condolences to Reggie, Anna's beautiful mum Trish and adoring sisters, and all of her extended family.

Vale Anna Marsali McPhee (1970 - 2017)
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