To the “Woman Who Wants It All”

A response to the letter from the "Woman Who Wants It All" regarding the timing of having a baby.
SWE Leadership Summit Update

This was originally published by ASK AMY, the syndicated advice column.

Dear Amy: I’m responding to the letter from “Woman Who Wants It All” regarding the timing of having a baby. My advice is that she must be prepared for how it will affect her career.

You can “lean in” as much as you want – but unless you own the company or have the resources for 24-hour nanny care, you will be treated differently from the guy in the next cubicle who also has children at home. I hope she has the bandwidth to maintain family, career and continue to stand up for equal rights.

I am an engineer. In the 1980s we saw technical programs opening up to women as a result of affirmative action. Unfortunately, things have gone in the other direction – with fewer women making successful careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) fields.

I was in a meeting recently with some of the top men (including the head of engineering) at our company. The conference room was full. During my presentation I looked around the room and thought, “I have been working for 20-plus years, and I am still the only woman in the room.” I was also the lowest-ranking person in the room.

Just some realistic food for thought.

Woman in STEM

Woman in STEM: Preach, sister.

Amy’s column appears seven days a week at www.washingtonpost.com/advice. Write to Amy Dickinson at askamy@tribpub.com or Ask Amy, Chicago Tribune, TT500, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60611.

2016 by the Chicago Tribune

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