LETTERS:A woman's place is where she wants it to be

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The Independent Online
Sir: In exploring the new myth of "maternal correctness", Esther Oxford falls into the trap of assuming that women are alone in trying to balance work and family commitments ("Motherhood isn't for wimps", 8 December). As the recently published Ash ridge Management Index reveals, tensions between work and home life are not gender specific -63 per cent of the padrents in our sample of 400 senior executives stated that they feel a conflict between their roles as a manager and a parent. The simple tr uth isthat men are just as likely as women to experience the pressures placed on their home life by their work.

The idea that macho male managers feel that "to cut it in the cut-throat world of business you must yield no quarter" is dated. In today's business environment all employees are facing increased pressures, which inevitably divide loyalties between the organisation and one's life outside work.

Women will continue to bear the primary responsibility for child care as long as this issue is addressed solely in terms of "motherhood". Attitudes will become entrenched, and there will never be a redefinition of what it means to be successful in both career and family life.

Yours sincerely, ANDREW WILSON Assistant Director of Research Ashridge Management Research Group Berkhamstead, Hertfordshire 9 December

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