Dale – I agree and I believe that is what Sandberg argues as well. This is not a you or I problem…this is an us problem. I’ve talked to many men who experience the same anguish over deciding between work and family. I imagine, to some extent it is just as difficult for men to choose family, as it is for women to chose work (in terms of how society perceives you).
I’ve met plenty of grown men who grew up in families where the father was barely there because of work. The long term affects vary, but are usually negative to some degree. We (both men and women) face the same problems. The one real difference that Sandberg calls out, is that women tend to be more willing to plan their future husbands, children, etc. around their career, than men are. When is the last time you met a mid-20 something male who talked about picking his next career move based on the fact that he wanted to have time to date and meet the love of his life, or have enough paid maternity time to recover after having a new baby? Probably not recently. This is definitely one of those “internal barriers” in women that Sandberg references. Unfortunately, these are real questions that have to be asked by someone. The real question is, why are we all (the company, the women, and the men) not asking these questions together? Obviously the outcomes will affect all of us in some way or another.