Good news that ADM -- supermarket to the world -- hired a female CEO, rounding out the number of women in Fortune 500 companies to "10." Sounds like Patricia Woertz is ready to take on the challenge.
Although the media always provides a chart on how few women are at the top, research shows that women are ambivalent about climbing to that top rung. One of the major deterrants often cited is the lack of work/family balance.
An article in today's Wall Street Journal reminded me once again how difficult it is to combine family and career. The article described the difficulty companies have in recruiting women to run manufacturing plants. The women managers interviewed turned down more senior jobs because of the lack of flexible hours, too much travel and child care problems. When these women are single mothers, the work/family issues are compounded multifold.
From what I read, Patricia Woertz has three grown children which makes her choice only somewhat easier. Every new CEO says, however, that there is no preparation for the CEO position. We will have to check back on her progress on her first anniversary. I wish her luck!