From Tim Harford's latest Undercover Economist column:
Women may have already overtaken men at US schools and universities, but perhaps they will not do so in the boardroom until they can reliably delay pregnancy into their fifties and sixties. Then employers might start to dismiss as remote the risk that a valued employee will take time off to have a family. Indeed, having one might become something you do once you’ve made it to the top and retired.
Tim Harford is too smart to put down in black and white all the implications. It's weird to suggest that women wait until changes in their reproductive function -- aided by advances in medicine -- deliver to them boardroom berths and top jobs. And, why should the employers' concerns be paramount? Are they right, for example, in seeing a woman employee as a risk because she "will take time off to have a family"? Isn't it better for business (an institution) to change, rather than for women (real people!) to make different -- expensive, unnatural and possibly risky -- reproductive choices? Wouldn't women -- and men -- be right in fighting to change the attitude of busness?
And, shouldn't Harford lend his voice in support of this fight? That would have been far better than saying lame things like if the reproductive breakthrough materializes, "then employers might start to dismiss as remote the risk that a valued employee will take time off to have a family".