by rantywoman

The pounds are already dropping off me too:


The Journal tells one especially striking story about a woman worker whose stress overwhelmed her, prompting her to quit her high-power job and move to a more low-key position. Her saga makes me wonder what Sheryl Sandberg would say about the choices she made: Kay Keaney was a 40-year-old interior designer at a California medical company where she had a big portfolio of responsibilities that included planning building interiors and managing construction. She worked 60-hour weeks and commuted three hours a day while parenting two small children, including a two-year-old who once grabbed her BlackBerry while she was cooking dinner and threw it across the room. The Journal doesn’t say how much her husband did in the home but it’s hard to imagine it would be enough to help Keaney manage this daunting schedule. After enduring panic attacks and headaches, she left her job and moved from San Jose to Media, Pa., where she took a lower-level post at a homeopathic products company. She lost 20 pounds and now gets home before her kids arrive from school.

I’m left wondering what Sandberg would have advised Keaney. If she had been a tougher negotiator, could Keaney have convinced her bosses in her old job to let her work less? I doubt it. Sometimes it’s not possible to lean in to responsibilities that are just too overwhelming. Sandberg writes a lot about how ingrained sexism stands in the way of women’s advancement. You could argue that Keaney’s old employer had structured her job in such a way that a mother could never hack it. But nowadays many jobs are set up this way, with expectations that employees work grueling hours regardless of their gender.