Can Women Achieve Work-Life Balance?

Have women been thinking about work-life balance wrong all along? (VCU Libraries/Flickr)

What does it take for women to achieve a work-life balance? (VCU Libraries/Flickr)

Lean In, the controversial blockbuster by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, came out in March and has been leading the New York Times bestseller list ever since. It’s been called a new feminist manifesto that encourages 21st-century women to ‘lean in,’ meaning to try harder to self-promote and to lead. But Sandberg’s manifesto has also triggered some pretty powerful backlash, particularly from people who argue that the main problem lies not in women themselves, but in the inflexible workplaces that were designed back in the Ozzie and Harriet era.

A new book called The Orange Line explores different possibilities for women to achieve work-life balance. Co-author Jodi Detjen, a professor of Management at Suffolk University, says women are holding themselves back because of what she calls the ‘Feminine Filter”.

“You can have it all,” says Detjen. But women need to change their expectations of themselves. “They have to let go of being perfect and doing it all.”


Jodi Detjen, author of The Orange Line and a professor of Management at Suffolk University.

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