BY H. CAROL BERNSTEIN
Parent of a member of the Class of 2016
As an advanced-degreed executive officer of a publicly-traded technology company who has 28 years of experience in both for profit and academic institutions focused on science and technology (and Princeton parent of a male student), Susan Patton’s March 29, 2013 Letter to the Editor appears wholly inconsistent with my personal experience as a wife, mother, friend and professional, as well as mentor and sponsor to various men and women throughout my career and 20-plus-year marriage.
Moreover, her regressive beliefs, which appear to be based on little more than her own unhappy circumstances, detract from the important responsibilities those of us who are more senior in our careers and lives have to those younger men and women in our personal and professional communities of various academic and socioeconomic backgrounds who look to us for some guidance, assistance and example with regard to career development, “balance”, leadership and social responsibility.
Compatibility and success — whether in the personal or professional realm — are borne of many things but generally arise from and are sustained by common values; superficial measures such as equating mutual attendance at certain academic institutions with a priori “intellectual equality”, or other of the snobbish inanities proffered by Patton, serve as false proxies for them.
Furthermore, Patton’s baseless assertions regarding the issues with which current college and newly post-college age women and men are supposedly concerned, and ignorance of the broad dissemination and availability of, and discussion related to, information regarding such issues (including the active debates of the past year alone engendered by thoughtful views of various individuals such as Anne-Marie Slaughter and Sheryl Sandberg like the very one in which Patton “participated”), make me question her supposed qualifications as a “human resources consultant and executive coach”, or at least why any entity or individual who has read her letter would ever consider hiring her for anything even remotely related thereto.
H. Carol Bernstein P’16