Girls should be taught to find ambitious husbands, just as they are encouraged to apply to top universities, the head of independent girls' schools has urged.
Instead of hitting the "glass ceiling", females are now coming face-to-face with a "nappy wall", Helen Fraser, CEO of the Girls' Day School Trust (GDST), announced on Wednesday. Girls need to be encouraged to seek out the best relationships in order to balance career and family and that they can "have it all".
"Just as I believe we should always encourage our girls to aspire to the best universities, I believe we should encourage our girls to be ambitious in their relationships," she told the Trust's conference.
Fraser then said she was "intrigued" by Facebook's chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg's claim that "The most important career choice you’ll make is who you marry," - which she made in a speech last year.
"Is this what we should be making space for our girls to learn?" Fraser asked. "That what too many women face nowadays isn’t a ‘glass ceiling’ because of their sex but a ‘nappy wall’ if they choose to have a child as well as a career? That if you want children and a career, a partner who shares the load at home really, really matters?
"Or a partner who cares as much about you succeeding in your career as they do about their own – and is a cheerleader for you through your triumphs and setbacks. Is it about teaching girls to find partners who will make space for their own careers in a relationship?"
Fraser, who oversees 24 independent schools and two academies, added women have come a long way but there was still "much to do".
At the GDST's 140th annual conference in London, she continued to say: "It's not just about finding a husband who does the hoovering and makes the dinner.
"It's about finding one who really understands it is important for you to thrive and do well in whatever you choose to do."