My friend Sharon has always been a tad more practical than most when it comes to love and marriage. While I was trying to figure out how intoxicating a guy smelled on our first date, Sharon was asking HER first dates how they felt about sharing breadwinning and childcare duties 50/50. Along the way, Sharon logged 16 years at Goldman, Sachs, becoming one of the few female managing directors on the West Coast. She also met Steve, who thought a 50/50 split sounding dreamy too; they married and have two children together. Now Sharon (and co-author Joanna Strober) are sharing their tactics with the world in their new book Getting to 50/50: How Working Couples Can Have It All By Sharing It All .
To working moms like me who struggle with getting our husbands to empty the dishwasher occasionally, this 50/50 message (and the step-by-step how- to instructions) are invaluable. But Meers and Strober’s message is particularly relevant to all moms AND dads in today’s economic times, when the practicality of a dual-income household seems clear no matter your age, marital status, or tax bracket. Sharon and Joanna use a mix of personal stories, a survey of over 1,000 working moms, and the latest government and social science research to show that sharing financial and childcare responsibilities translates to happier, better-adjusted wives who feel less guilty; more involved dads; and thriving children. One of the biggest obstacles to 50/50 splits? The stubborn idea that a stay-at-home wife is a status symbol proving how successful a man is at work. Puh-leaze!
The good news is that the 50/50 message is attracting national attention, with Joanna and Sharon’s recent Today Show appearance  and articles on washingtonpost.com . Meers and Strober mainstream the idea that most moms want to get ahead in their careers and still get to their children’s soccer games; and that what’s good for moms is good for dads too, because it means they get involved in daily care on the homefront. American women have long been granted equality at work, protected by gender bias and equal employment laws. But equality at home has been harder to come by. Getting to 50/50  provides a giant step in that direction.
Purchase Getting to 50/50  at Amazon.com.
Sharon Meers lives in the Bay Area with her husband Steve, a real-estate developer, and their son, age 7, and daughter, age 4. Sharon and Steve founded the Partnership for Parity  at the Stanford Graduate School of Business School which supports Stanford's ongoing work on workplace parity and a similar effort at Harvard University called the Dual-Career Initiative . Sharon also serves on the board of the National Women's Law Center and on the advisory council of Stanford's Clayman Institute for Research on Gender and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. A graduate of Harvard College, she holds an M.A. in Economics from New York University.
Joanna Strober has spent her career in private equity, as an attorney and as a venture capital and buyout investor. She is currently Managing Director of a fund investing in private equity partnerships at Sterling Stamos Capital Management. As one of the few women in private equity in Silicon Valley, Joanna has been featured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal for launching many well-known and successful companies. Joanna lives in the Bay Area with her husband, Jason, a software entrepreneur, and their daughter, age 10, and two sons, ages 7 and 2. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania and a J.D. from UCLA.