Meet your new feminist hero - he's a 44-year-old man

Dina Rickman@dinarickman
Thursday 07 August 2014 16:40
Science and Tech

This is Max Schireson: businessman, viral star and our new feminist hero.

The 44-year-old father-of-three announced he was stepping down as CEO of $1billion tech company MongoDB earlier this week. He blogged that he had decided to leave "the best job I ever had" to spend more time with his family. Along the way, he pointed out that his female peers and wife were often asked how they juggled their family and work lives, he was not.

As a male CEO, I have been asked what kind of car I drive and what type of music I like, but never how I balance the demands of being both a dad and a CEO.

But Mr Schireson said while the media hadn't asked him, "it is a question that I often ask myself".

He said he has three children, age 14, 12 and 9 - and is on course to fly 300,000 miles this year, and has to commute across America to work.

I have an amazing wife who also has an important career; she is a doctor and professor at Stanford where, in addition to her clinical duties, she runs their training programme for high risk obstetricians and conducts research on on [sic] prematurity, surgical techniques, and other topics... Friends and colleagues often ask my wife how she balances her job and motherhood. Somehow, the same people don’t ask me.

As well as making the important point that "having it all" and juggling your family and work is something that women are always asked about but not men, Mr Schireson makes it clear that it's OK for high-earning, highly-successful fathers to choose to spend time with their families:

I recognise that by writing this I may be disqualifying myself from some future CEO role. Will that cost me tens of millions of dollars someday? Maybe. Life is about choices. Right now, I choose to spend more time with my family and am confident that I can continue to have an meaningful and rewarding work life while doing so.

This was pretty much our response: