More Female CEO’s Combining Career and Family

It seems that a growing number of women no longer feel they have to choose between being a mother and becoming a company CEO. The Wall Street Journal reported recently on the appointment of only the 22nd woman to run a Fortune 500 company. At present, there are 12 female CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, 11 of whom are mothers. Old traditions die hard, however, and men with children are much more likely to rise into management than women with children in most major industries. Add to that the fact that female mangers still earn only 79% of the male salary, a statistic which has not changed since 2000, and it’s not surprising so few women occupy the corner office. CEO mothers say they create strict boundaries between work and home, and interestingly often manage with the support of husbands who have put their careers on hold. Claudia Goldin, a Harvard economics professor who has studied earnings penalties linked to motherhood says “the fact most big-company female CEOs have children may just state the obvious—that the highest achievers can handle big challenges”. The good news is that these women often make the path easier for others following them by creating  flexi-time and sick child facilities.

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