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Book Review: Getting To 50/50

The subtitle of “Getting To 50/50” by Sharon Meers and Joanna Strober is How Working Couples Can Have It All by Sharing It All, so just in case you didn’t catch it in the title, you know exactly where this book is going.  As a working parent I’m also inspired by the stories of how others make it work, and the pedigree of the authors peaked my curiosity — Meers is a former MD at Goldman Sachs and Strober is an MD at a Silicon Valley private equity firm.

The book is not a how-to for those struggling to make the dual-career + kids formula work , but rather it’s an argument for why it’s better if you go this route.  The comments from working fathers were comforting.  The statistics throughout the book were interesting — I especially was surprised that the percentage of women who work in v. out of the home stays roughly constant across income demographics (I had assumed it would be higher as household income increases).  I was hoping for more examples of how people make the juggle work and not just reasons why you should.  The book, while comprehensive, seems more appropriate as a baby shower gift to couples struggling with the question of 2 careers v 1 or perhaps for the reading list of a college course.  For working parents who have already made the decision to go for it, there is the we-are-not-alone benefit but little by the way of practical tips.  I would have loved to see a few day-in-the-life examples of Meers and Strober’s juggle.

That said, I was glad that I read it for its comprehensive dive into what can be a very polarizing issue.  If you’re part of a working couple that is on the fence about staying 2 incomes v 1, I highly recommend it.  If you’re interested in general business/ market trends, there is enough research and statistics to placate you and it’s an important subject.  If you’ve made up your mind about making it a go and looking for tips to make it easier, you will find some but not many here — I’d save this read for when you’re questioning your decision and want the comfort that dual career + kids is a good thing.


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