Behind Many Great Women There’s A Great Stay-At-Home Husband

indra nooyi
Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo

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Now that women are working 51.4% of all managerial and professional jobs in the U.S., we’re going to see even more men stay at home to take care of the kids.Carol Hymowitz takes a look at the trend in this week’s Bloomberg Businessweek cover story, and especially how it’s affected female CEOs like Carly Fiorina, HP’s first female executive, whose husband left his job to stay at home:

Seven of the 18 women who are currently CEOs of Fortune 500 companies—including Xerox’s Ursula Burns, PepsiCo’s Indra Nooyi, and WellPoint’s Angela Braly — have, or at some point have had, a stay-at-home husband.


Like hundreds of thousands of women who have advanced into management roles in the past two decades — and, in particular, the hundreds who’ve become senior corporate officers — [Bare Escentuals CEO Leslie Blodgett] figured out early what every man with a corner office has long known: To make it to the top, you need a wife.

Hymowitz also points out that 23% of wives out-earn their husbands, and that “women 30 and under make more money, on average, than their male counterparts in all but three of the largest cities in the U.S.” 

Of course, there are lots of ways this trend could play out. But Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg — who may soon be one of the world’s richest self-made women — says that “your most important career decision is who you marry.”

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