Unlike women before them, Gen-X females were free to pursue higher educational degrees and have achieved significant success in the workplace. But like the women before them, they still grapple with whether or not to leave the paid workforce to raise children. The good news is that today, all that overtime they’ve put in is not lost if they choose family life. More and more women are making successful reentries into the workplace.
Take former president and CEO of Pepsi-Cola North America, Brenda Barnes, 50, who left the soft-drink giant to stay home with her children. She recently returned to the workforce as president and COO of Sara Lee. “While not new, it is important that women like Brenda Barnes are noted and serve as role ­models.
The more women hear about the possibilities, the more women are likely to do it,” says Joanne Brundage, founder and executive director of Mothers & More, a women’s support and advocacy organization. Of course, in order to do this, it’s important to stay involved through volunteer work, networking, or continuing education. So while work versus family life will always be of concern to working women, perhaps now the choice doesn’t have to be so hard.
— Beth Snyder Bulik