The No. 1 impediment to women succeeding in the workforce is now in the home.
I would love to meet J.K. Rowling and tell her how much I admire her writing and am amazed by her imagination. I read every 'Harry Potter' book as it came out and looked forward to each new one. I am rereading them now with my kids and enjoying them every bit as much. She made me look at jelly beans in a whole new way.
I have a five year-old son and a three year-old daughter. I want my son to have a choice to contribute fully in the workforce or at home. And I want my daughter to have the choice to not just succeed, but to be liked for her accomplishments.
I don't hold myself out as a role model. I don't believe that everyone should make the same choices; that everyone has to want to be a CEO, or everyone should want to be a work-at-home mother. I want everyone to be able to choose. But I want us to be able to choose unencumbered by gender choosing for us.
Women are not making it to the top. A hundred and ninety heads of state; nine are women. Of all the people in parliament in the world, thirteen per cent are women. In the corporate sector, women at the top - C-level jobs, board seats - tops out at fifteen, sixteen per cent.
I spent most of my career in business not saying the word 'woman.' Because if you say the word 'woman' in a business context, and often in a political context, the person on the other side of the table thinks you're about to sue them or ask for special treatment, right?