It’s Time to Redefine Our Gendered Idea of “Ambition”

What defines an ambitious worker? For far too long, we’ve only had one answer to that question: somebody single-mindedly dedicated to climbing the career ladder. But that model of ambition arose when professionals were typically men supported by women at home. Women today are integral to the workforce, but because they still disproportionately shoulder demands at home, they can’t always focus single-mindedly on climbing the ladder — and so are assumed not to be ambitious. That explains the problematic lack of women in positions of senior leadership today. For everybody’s benefit, the authors argue, it’s time for a new model of ambition — one that takes women’s perspective into account and puts a new emphasis on growth rather than time.


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