The conversation around working mothers has long been dominated by guilt, apologies, and excuses—positioning a career as the sort of optional luxury that women have cause to feel ambivalent about. But a study published in December 2016 by the Center for American Progress reported quite the opposite. It found that nearly two thirds of mothers in the United States were the primary, sole, or co-breadwinners for their families in 2015, inarguable evidence that women are pulling their financial weight as never before and that women’s contributions are far from superfluous. #SorryNotSorry for going to work.
With this change in family economics comes a shift in the way we talk about women who work—from the elusive quest for balance, to a focus on the benefits of momming-while-full-time-jobbing. A new guard of celebrities, CEOs, and influencers is smashing this ceiling, embracing ambition, rather than apologizing for it—declaring work as a source of power, not shame. The evolving dialogue pivots from the outrage directed against former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer when she announced she would only take two weeks of maternity leave following the birth of her twins in 2015 (though we’re pleased to see that Yahoo’s official policy is considerably more generous to employees).