– Daniela Drake, M.D., attended Wellesley College and received an MBA from Stanford University. She, along with Elizabeth Ford, authored the book “Smart Girls Marry Money.” A former McKinsey consultant, she is now a full-time primary care physician. Drake married (for love) and has reaped the consequences. The views expressed are her own. –
I had to pause when I came across a blog out of South Africa that read, “I think a way forward, or backwards some of you might say, is to encourage our smart, savvy and capable daughters to marry for money.” Since I co-authored a book with a similar premise, this sassy assertion definitely grabbed my attention.
The blog’s author Jackie May, an editor for The Times world pages in South Africa, penned these seemingly heretical comments after learning of alarming research by Dr. Caroline Gatrell at Lancaster University in England. Dr. Gatrell found, “women who explicitly choose career over kids are often vilified at work.”
Conventional wisdom says just the opposite: Sacrificing baby-making is often necessary in the calculus of getting ahead at work. Many mid-career women have forsaken motherhood to obtain career goals. Indeed, economist Sylvia Ann Hewlett made news a few years ago when she presented the statistic that 49% of mid-career women who made $100,000 a year or more were childless, compared to only 10% of men.
Yet, despite the sacrifices many women make in order to climb the corporate ladder, women are still woefully under represented in top executive ranks. Eight of the CEO’s on the Fortune 500 were women a couple of years ago. Now, two years later, we’ve got 12. At this rate it will take a little over 100 years for us to represent half of the CEO’s in the Fortune 500, in the year 2128.