cover image Power Moms: How Executive Mothers Navigate Work and Life

Power Moms: How Executive Mothers Navigate Work and Life

Joann S. Lublin. HarperBusiness, $29.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-06-295490-9

Journalist Lublin (Earning It) wonders whether Gen-X women “tackle the daunting challenges of parenthood” differently than baby boomers in this frank exploration of the struggles and triumphs of C-suite mothers. The author interviewed 86 “experienced female business executives with successful careers and children” and concluded that the differences between them lie in the support they had: for the Baby Boomer “First-Wave Power Mom,” benefits such as telecommuting weren’t an option and she had to conceal “the chaos of motherhood,” whereas Gen X’s “Second-Wave Power Mom” is better supported in using parental leave, expects a partner to share household duties, and “brings her authentic self to work.” Lublin provides a brief history of working mothers in the U.S., then shares her subjects’ stories; a “first-wave” CEO of a software company had to cut her maternity leave short to get a promotion, while the “second-wave” founder of Rent the Runway was met with enthusiasm after announcing to her board that she was trying to get pregnant. Though Lublin’s survey covers relatively familiar ground— navigating the guilt of time spent at work or with kids, the importance of a company culture that celebrates rather than punishes family commitments—the generational comparison makes for an informative glimpse into the lives of a rarified group. Readers curious about what’s changed and what hasn’t for high-ranking working mothers will find much to consider. Agent: Karen Gantz, Karen Gantz Literary Management. (Feb.)