Letter: Mother as manager

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The Independent Culture
Sir: David Aaronovitch's article "Modern women may decide their place is at home with the children" (11 August) included the suggestion that women might one day have the right to take extended leave in order to raise their children and still be promoted in absentia. This has given Alex Meadows (letter, 14 August) the opportunity to ask, if he took time off to busk his way around the Pacific Rim, would he return to his company as a director?

Anyone who has full-time responsibility for the welfare of a family has the chance to practice and, one hopes, develop some formidable management skills such as: creating an atmosphere in which others can flourish; allowing others to take the credit; reconciling differing views; managing scarce resources; interpreting people's intentions from their (sometimes contrary) words and actions; regulating without suppressing; reacting swiftly to changed circumstances

If Mr Meadows can demonstrate that busking around the Pacific Rim offers the same opportunities then, of course, he should be considered for promotion. Let us hope his company's managers are perceptive enough to recognise his added value when he returns.

ISOBEL SHEPHERDSON

York

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