Photo: Julie Smolyansky
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg once told Business Insider’s Henry Blodget that the most important career decision women make is who they choose to marry.For Julie Smolyansky, CEO of Lifeway Foods, that rings true. She has raised two daughters while leading the kefir company, and says having a supportive spouse has been one of the keys to her success.
Smolyansky says her husband is someone who “sees parenthood as a joint effort; we have alternative gender roles within our family, or kind of equal gender roles.”
He’s made it possible so that she can focus on building Lifeway’s business and brand, and was able to double her company’s sales during the recession. “We just need more role models for the new family, new gender roles,” she says. “There’s lots of evidence that shows the new stay-at-home-dad emerging in family life.”
Everyone’s watching Marissa Mayer, but Smolyansky says it’s just one step in the right direction. “We only have 17 per cent women sitting in Congress, which is making decisions, agendas, policy and setting budgets that affect all of us. If women make up 52 per cent of the population, we need to be represented in every single aspect of society. And equally so, we need men making 50 per cent of household decisions.”
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