There is a real problem here that I do not think is adequately addressed in society, including by Smith. Motherhood is empowering, but motherhood is also limiting. This reality is exciting and meaningful, but it is equally as stressful, exhausting and often unfair. I wish that Smith had made more room for this discussion—not just about the emotional implications of working and motherhood, but about the reality that you can’t have it all in both worlds. Dedication to raising a family means that certain professions—or at least moving up the ladder in certain professions—is out. How can we change this? How can we better prepare the next generation of women—and men—to deal with this reality? How can Smith, as a leading feminist institution, influence change, both by creating a better understanding of reality among its graduates and by leading the fight to create a different kind of work environment?

Leah Goeppinger-Levy ’01, three children, 19 months, 5 and 8

Don’t be afraid to move up the ladder. When I had my first child 20 years ago I was in middle management and that was tough. When I had my second six years later I was running a department so I could set the meeting times. Made things much easier.

Susan Altshuler Norton ’82

 

SAQ, Winter 2015–16