One of the most demanding positions to be in is feeling like you have to choose between pursuing your career and raising your family. Maybe the decision itself isn’t so hard, but the implications of that decision are far-reaching and painful. Unfortunately, women find themselves making the difficult choice to put their children over chasing their dreams. However, the truth is you don’t have to choose between pursuing a fulfilling career and motherhood.
Women have had a tough road in the United States but have made dramatic strides in recent decades. From women’s voting rights and Roe v. Wade to the fight to climb the corporate ladder and earn equal earnings as their male counterparts, women have done it all while raising happy children in a loving home. In this short article, we’ll discuss three such women—you may have heard of them and their work.
1. Michelle Obama
If you thought all Michelle Obama was is the former first lady, you couldn’t know less about the “little girl from Southside Chicago.” For one, she was already practicing law in a Chicago law firm when she met her future husband and President of the United States, Barack Obama. Before that, she was a standout at Harvard Law School where she earned her J.D.
Today, Michelle is an award-winning author, the first African-American first lady of the United States, a National Women’s Hall of Fame inductee, and oh, yeah, a mother of two daughters, Malia and Sahsa, both of whom are in college. Malia has chosen to follow her parent’s footsteps to Harvard, and Sasha is currently attending the University of Michigan.
Michelle shined has shined as a law student, lawyer, first lady, author, and most importantly to her, motherhood. She’s the former first lady to the world, but she’s truly Mama bear to her flourishing daughters.
2. Suzanne Clark
Suzanne Clark is the next superwoman on our list of amazing mothers and career women. Suzanne is the current CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the first woman to ever hold the position. Prior to that, she was the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, another position which she was the first woman to hold in the organization’s nearly 110 years.
Suzanne began her journey into the business world when she began studying business administration at the illustrious Georgetown University, where she earned both her bachelor’s degree in business and her MBA.
Suzanne certainly didn’t start her career at the top of the corporate ladder, but she didn’t waste much time once she began climbing. She got to take the helm of a company for the first time in 2007 when she became the president of the National Journal Group. In 2012, she purchased the Potomac Research Group.
Suzanne has many laudable accomplishments, but her greatest achievement is being the mother of a daughter who’s a teen entrepreneur. She’s instilled her business savvy in her daughter. What greater legacy is there for a mother to leave for her daughter than to know she can do anything?
3. Sheryl Sandberg
Sheryl Sandberg is a woman who’s a true testament to perseverance. You might know her now as the COO and the first woman to serve on the board of directors at Facebook, but there’s much more to Sheryl than that.
Among Sheryl’s many accomplishments are graduating summa cum laude from Harvard University and graduating with the highest honors from Harvard business school. She’s worked in the U.S. Department of the Treasury and later Google where she was in charge of online sales, growing the sales team from 4 to 4,000.
However, her most awe-inspiring accomplishment is how Sheryl has exhibited strength, poise, and grace in the wake of losing her husband in 2016. She’s continued to lead Facebook’s charge toward becoming a better platform and being a supermom.
There’s no denying that women have a tough climb up the corporate ladder and political power structure. The important thing to learn from women like former first lady Michelle Obama and CEOs Suzanne Clark and Sheryl Sandberg is that you don’t have to choose between being a career woman and a great mother. Throughout history, women have proven they’re capable of making it to the top of their career fields while raising happy children who are assets to society. Hopefully, powerful women like Michelle, Suzanne, and Sheryl will serve as reminders that you can do it, too.