I'm 46, and from 1990 to 1998 I was the director of a department that worked closely with our sales staff, which was staffed almost entirely by women ages 25-35. I came to the conclusion that, when it comes to relationship sales, women have big advantages over men, (although not usually
the case as direct sales closers.) I believe that women of my generation were very energized by the women's liberation movement of the 1970s. Many of them had older sisters, aunts, mothers and other role models who encouraged them to go for a career.
That this movement created options
for women was outstanding--both for women themselves and the workplace in general. But during my time there I noted that many
of my female coworkers began experiencing a profound awareness: they didn't really want the big career as much as they thought they did.
They were wracked with guilt over leaving their children in daycare--not just for a few hours per day--but most
of the day and often well into the evening, as really good jobs usually required pretty long hours. They experienced significant problems in their marriages. (During one year, something like two-thirds of our sales force was in the process of getting divorced.)
It wasn't that these ladies wanted to rescind the good things that came from women's liberation. Again, it was right and good that they now had options.
And there were more than a few ladies I worked with who really did seem to do it all well: big career, solid marriage, kids, etc. But many others had to move through a lengthy period of confusion and frustration before finally admitting to themselves that the "big career" option was not necessarily right for them.
(At least for the long term.) One of these ladies--the most ambitious driver of the bunch-- would tell me a few years later, at about 38 years of age,
"Jon, I'm ready for a man to start being the man."
She wanted to stay home with her child, decorate her home, do more things with her friends, travel, etc. And, despite her former positions, at that point it just seemed natural to have a man in the traditional role, while she might work in a part time capacity.
I see this even among younger women today. Yes, it's true that you'll find some masculinized females in the workplace, but in my experience over the last 20 years or so, it isn't the rule. In the last several months I've been dating a lot of ladies (ages 30 to 45,) and almost to a person they tend to be looking for a relationship that is--perhaps not a throwback to Mad Men misogyny--but one in which the man takes the lead role.
Anyone else identify with this?