Two years ago, Anne-Marie Slaughter wrote a provocative essay in The Atlantic called “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All.” The piece, which sparked a national debate about the impossibilities of work-life balance, stressed that unless a profound change in mind-set occurred at the highest levels of business and government, professional women are basically screwed. The stats bear it out. Women account for just 5 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs, while 3 percent of executive creative directors at ad agencies are female. It’s a pretty sad state of affairs.
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg stormed the zeitgeist with her rallying cry to “lean in,” producing a book on how to succeed in a high-powered job as well as a movement. While this drive is nothing new—think Gloria Steinem, Camille Paglia and Helen Gurley Brown—the hope is that as more women in positions of power speak out and create change, the door will swing open and a new generation of leaders will take their rightful seat at the table.