Motherhood vs. Career Pursuits: Should Women Have To Choose?
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

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From fashion icon and entrepreneur Kimora Lee Simmons to top Xerox executive Ursula Burns, many women around the world have seen tremendous career success while balancing the often rewarding— and demanding— job of being a mother. But the question for many working women has always been whether they can aggressively and realistically pursue career advancement while juggling baby bottles and diapers, or whether they’ll have to put a very important decision on the back burner to freely climb that ladder of success.

Some women work to have the best of both worlds—juggling parent-teacher conferences with executive meetings— while others decide to put their careers on hold to focus solely on mommyhood. The decision of when to start a family can be a difficult one for many women who consider how a 9-month pregnacy (which could mean loss of work time, missed business opportunities and health issues) and subsequent parenting responsibilities will affect their career advancement timeline or compromise their seat at the top players’ tables (which are oftentimes dominated by men.) Twitter followers were asked the question: “#Motherhood v. #Career: Should we have to Choose?” and got an overwhelming response. Many women (along with several men) responded with their take on family planning, balancing family life with entrepreneurship endeavors and choosing motherhood as a priority. As Mother’s Day approaches, we take a look at the dialogue on a decision that for some is a no-brainer, while for others is quite a dilemma.

One mother: @blackenterprise When you have a child, you know you have to give up certain things. Sleep being #1 and career #2 #motherhood #career

Another Twitter follower: @blackenterprise: Can we put to rest the notion that a woman pursuing her career is not “missing”something?” I know post MBA exec wmn w/fam

Take a look at the dialogue and weigh in: Should women have to choose between starting a family and seeking ultimate career fulfillment?


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Janell Hazelwood

Janell Hazelwood is associate managing editor at Black Enterprise, managing content across core areas of Money, Career, Small Business and Technology. She is also a featured blogger with My Two Cents, providing insights on branding, millennial career development, employment trends and leadership. She was previously a content producer and copy editor for Black Enterprise magazine, working across several editorial sections. The Hampton University graduate got her start in the newspaper industry, having worked for companies including The New York Times and Scripps Howard News Service. Her works and insights have appeared on The Huffington Post, MadameNoire, E!Online, Brazen Careerist, CBS News, and Arise TV.