Anne Marie Slaughter was a mother of two teenage boys and was the director of policy planning for the US State Department. She wanted to be able to climb the ranks of her job and reacher her vision of “success”. She wanted to be able to have a well work-life balance. Although, working for the government required long hours and entailed her being away from her family during the weekdays and only being able to see them weekends. Even on the weekends, she had to take a train to New Jersey from Washington D.C. to see her family. Anne Marie says about working in Washington, ” ‘leaving to spend time with your family’ is equivalent for being fired”. She believed she could not have it all unless she had the right job that enabled her to spend time with her family.
Anne Marie left when her two-year public-service leave from Princeton University was up. She went back to academia to have a balance in her life.
Many people often find it difficult to be able to find a balance. They want to have that high paying/rank job but at the same time, they want a family. Anne Marie says, “the decision to step down from a position of power- to value a family over professional advancement, even for a time- is directly at odds with the prevailing social pressures on career professionals in the United States”. The idea of social construct put a lot of pressure on people in regards to their job and their title. Societal expectations make it hard for men and women to pursue their careers and “climb the ranks” but there is also the pressure of raising a family. If at all you give up a high paying job to step down and raise a family you might get judged upon, and vice versa. Making these decisions for the best of your family can often come at a price of judgment. Women are perceived as to be the ones to raise and take care of the family. While men are expected to be the working ones and protecting the family. If any gender decides they are going to go against social construct, they risk being judged and looked down upon by society and its expectations.