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(The Daily Beast) Why Women Should Stop Trying to Be Perfect


Sure, we have powerful jobs, well-run homes, and perfect children. But we're still not making it to the very top. There are things we can learn from the rest of the world.

Over the past 30 years–first at Harvard Business School, where I was on the faculty for nearly two decades, and now, at Barnard College, where I serve as president–I have watched thousands of bright and talented young women start to plot the course of their lives. I have watched my friends’ and colleagues’ lives evolve in complicated and unpredictable ways.

How Woman's Rights Have Paid Off

In the United States, we move away from our parents, our childhood friends, and the communities that might help us achieve saner and more balanced lives. (Tamar Levine / Gallery Stock)

And I have juggled like mad, with three wonderful kids, a husband I adore, and jobs that leave me perched perpetually on the edge of insanity. Like most working mothers, I have snuck out of meetings to attend piano recitals and missed track meets when a deadline was looming. I have sprinted through airports in the futile hope of catching an earlier flight home and tried to comfort a sobbing child when, inevitably, the plane was late. I delivered my first lecture in a suit that reeked of infant throw-up from earlier that morning and crashed the minivan into a tree as I raced to retrieve the correct ballet costume.


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