A Binder Full of Women

Caitlin Flanagan, Anne-Marie Slaughter and others on female executives and having it all.
7 stories

At the second presidential debate, Mitt Romney discussed his hiring practices while governor of Massachusetts. And after discovering that most of the applicants for his cabinet were men, Governor Romney said he asked his staff: "Well, gosh, can't we – can't we find some – some women that are also qualified? And – and so we – we took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet. I went to a number of women's groups and said: 'Can you help us find folks,' and they brought us whole binders full of women."

And with that a meaningful meme was born.

In 2003, Patricia Sellers questioned why women don't seek top-level positions. "If these educated, accomplished, powerful women don't seek the biggest jobs, who is going to? To take it one step further: Do women lack power in business because they just don't want it enough?"

In an Atlantic cover story this summer, Anne-Marie-Slaughter revisited how women balance work and family: "I still strongly believe that women can 'have it all' (and that men can too)," Slaughter wrote. "I believe that we can 'have it all at the same time.' But not today, not with the way America’s economy and society are currently structured. My experiences over the past three years have forced me to confront a number of uncomfortable facts that need to be widely acknowledged—and quickly changed."

And in New York magazine this month, Lisa Miller profiled a new working mother, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer. "Now that the nation’s most notable geek girl has become its most visible CEO mom, there’s quite a bit of talk among America’s professional women about how she’ll manage. So far, she’s not showing any interest in the conversation."

Perhaps because she's busy doing her job. Both of them.

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