Hogan Lovells

Hogan Lovells

Monday, April 2, 2012

The Big Equal: The Coming of Age of the Feminine Mystique

By Randy Segal, partner, global mergers and acquisitions, technology and telecommunications

When I began my legal career in the 1980s, I did not plan my work-life balance or the roles to be played in my soon-to-be family. Analogous to a “thrust upon conflict” (some might say a tsunami), I found myself steeped in NYC legal practice, and the mother of four children (the last three of which were triplets).

Fortunately, my husband (a photographer) was able to take a practical look at the situation and say, “Okay, we follow your career,” and soon became my family’s CFO and COO and eventually the stay-at-home dad. While this has long become unremarkable to my family, I have had many (including a chairman of the board of a public company for which I was general counsel) tell me I was the first female executive he had ever met where this was the case.

Washington Post reporter Liza Mundy’s new book “The Richer Sex” argues that “the Big Flip” in gender roles “is just around the corner” and that “women, not men, will become the top earners in households,” transforming male-female relationships in all respects. While I think this is the overly-optimistic stuff of which books are made, I am quite intrigued by the prospect of the scales moving closer and closer to a “Big Equal.”