A Comment on The Economist’s Article, The Mommy Track

By Rosa M. Abrantes-Metz on September 5, 2012

A recent issue of The Economist titled The Mommy Track (http://www.economist.com/node/21560856) discusses the difficulties women with children have in reaching the top positions in the corporate world: America’s biggest companies hire women to fill just over half of entry-level professional jobs.  But those women fail to advance professionally; they occupy only 28% of senior managerial posts, 14% of seats on executive committees and just 3% of chief-executive roles.

It is certainly true that today’s high profile jobs demand almost all of the employee’s time, and that makes it very difficult for a female employee to be an involved mom as well.  More flexibility is often needed for a mother’s success both at home and at work, and not every job or every boss offers that.  As a consequence, women may have to prove themselves even more irreplaceable than their male colleagues so that they can earn the flexibility they need to stay on track in both work and home.  I applaud those who juggle with all of these tasks on a daily basis, and some of them also deal with special needs children or elderly parents.   But I also applaud those moms who decide they have had enough and prefer to stay home with their kids “ after all, being a mom is a privilege and certainly the most important job in the world.  But as women living in developed countries, we must realize that it is also a privilege to have the choice of working or staying home with our children, or even to just take a less demanding job in order to afford more flexibility and more family time.  These are choices by no means available to every woman in every country.

About the Author

Name
Rosa M. Abrantes-Metz
Title/Location
Managing Director, New York
Phone
917-499-4944
Expertise
antitrust/competition policy, financial regulation, securities