The Truth About Ambition

(It's not a dirty word)

In recent decades, women have made some great advances in education and in the workplace, but we still lag behind men when it comes to compensation, promotion, and executive-level management. This remains true, even though the nation's top colleges are graduating more women than men.

Bernice Lavin, a mother of three and high-powered executive of a multi-million dollar corporation in the early '70s, is one of the women CNNMoney described in its article "The Most Powerful Women in Business—Then and Now." Lavin claimed that although the women in her sales force did a better job than the men, they were unwilling to take on responsibility and were fearful of making mistakes.

Lavin's point is basically the same as Sheryl Sandbergs', the current COO of Facebook, when she urges women "not to quit too early due to a vexing variety of personal choices" and exhorts them not to "leave before they leave."

. . . except that Lavin was speaking back in 1973. Has so little changed?

What's holding women back?

Looking at the prospects of working women, two high-powered executives, 40 years apart, concluded that the thing that might be holding women back is women. What if they're right? What if women are not being "held back," but rather women are choosing not to move forward?

Well, frankly, that's okay. If I see a woman making a mature and purposeful choice to "lean back" from work in order to prioritize other things, I celebrate her and praise God that she has the opportunity to make that choice.

Subscriber access onlyYou have reached the end of this Article Preview
To continue reading, join now for free and get complete access.
orJoin Now for Free

Read more articles that highlight writing by Christian women at

Diane Paddison

Diane Paddison is a business professional and founder of, local groups of professional working women committed to faith, family, work, and each other.

Free CT Women Newsletter

Sign up today for our biweekly newsletter: Lifework Newsletter. Explore God’s purpose for women in their career and calling as a means to influence culture and community.

Read These Next

For Further StudyFor Further StudyDownloadable resources to go deeper


Join in the conversation on Facebook or Twitter

May 25

Follow Us

More Newsletters