I’ve read numerous interviews by career women where they have said that they are "ambitious but not ruthlessly ambitious". It’s like they’re almost apologetic about being driven, successful career women. I don’t remember reading an interview by a man ever where he’s apologetic about his ambitiousness or success.
According to me, this is completely a result of gender stereotypes and the different set of expectations society has from men & women.
A man is expected to do well for himself professionally & financially, at all cost. It doesn’t matter that he is a negligent husband or a barely-there father. As long as he’s climbing the corporate ladder steadily, he is an exemplar. A woman, on the other hand, is expected to be a model mother, wife & daughter-in-law first and a career-woman later.
Why do these gender stereotypes still exist? Why do women still have to say sorry to their families & the society as a whole if they wish to be successful professionally?
Our country has become mature enough to understand that there is no point criminalizing consensual sex between two adults of the same sex, but we haven’t yet been able to break ourselves free of age-old gender stereotypes!
If a career is more important for a woman than her home, that is her prerogative. At the same time, if a woman gives up her career – fully or partly – in order to invest more time in her home & family, that too should be solely her decision. No one should question it.