Over at National Review Online, IWF’s Carrie Lukas serves up an assessment of women in the workplace:

“More than 40 years after Betty Friedan urged women to exchange their aprons for business suits, by many measures, women’s progress in the workforce has stalled. Certainly today more women work and hold more prestigious jobs than ever before: as of 2002, women accounted for 46.5 percent of the workforce and held more than half of managerial and professional specialty jobs. Yet few women make it to the very top of the business world. According to the nonprofit research institute Catalyst, just eight Fortune 500 companies have female CEOs, and women account for just 5.2 percent of those companies’ top earners.”

The debate starts when people ask “Why?”

“Liberal feminist groups, like the National Organization for Women (NOW), tend to insist that sexism and discrimination are the primary cause. Yet many individual women recognize that their choices — particularly the choices they make once they have children — make the difference.

“A recent Newsweek cover story highlighted how many women who are best positioned to break through the proverbial glass ceiling willingly downshift their careers after having children. A Harvard Business Review survey of midcareer women with graduate degrees or college degrees with honors found that more than one-third had taken extended time off from work, with the average break lasting more than two years. Surveys have shown that women evaluating job opportunities place a lower value on pay than men do, focusing more on job characteristics like flexibility and personal fulfillment.”

Don’t worry — that’s good news, says Carrie:

“If women’s different choices and preferences explain the paucity of women in the Fortune 500, then it’s not a problem that needs to be solved. Many women sincerely prefer lives dedicated to raising their families over high-flying careers, and we should respect their choices.”

Read more here.