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IMF head Christine Lagarde says women must accept that there will be “failures” if they attempt to juggle a career and raise children at the same time.The 56-year-old is the first female head of the International Monetary Fund, a former French finance minister and ex-chairman of leading US law firm Baker & McKenzie.
Earlier this year she was named as the eighth most powerful woman in the world by Forbes magazine, and has represented her country as a synchronised swimmer. Around this busy she raised two sons, Thomas, 24, and Pierre-Henri, 26.
Despite her success, last night she warned that women who attempt to chase a career and raise a family at the same time would run into trouble.
In an interview with American television network NBC Miss Lagarde said: “I think you cannot have it at the same time. I think you can in a way have it all as long as you can afford to be patient. But you cannot have it all at the same time. You must accept there will be failures.”
She also disclosed that despite her powerful position, working to stabilise the world’s economies after the financial crisis, some men still talk to her in patronising tones.
“The best defence when that happens is a very good and solid sense of humour. At the end of the day, they are human beings as well. They have wives, they have daughters,” she said, adding that the best strategy was to “grit your teeth and smile”.
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