Joann S. Lublin discussed her book, Power Moms: How Executive Mothers Navigate Work and Life, at MOI Global’s Meet-the-Author Summer Forum 2021.

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audio recording

Our Meet-the-Author Summer Forum aims to inspire members with reading ideas.

We are delighted to have Alex Gilchrist, a London-based research associate of MOI Global, host the Meet-the-Author Summer Forum 2021.

This conversation is available as an episode of Explore Great Books, a member podcast of MOI Global. (Learn how to access member podcasts.)

About the book:

A retired Wall Street Journal editor and mother compares two generations of women—boomers and GenXers—to examine how each navigates the emotional and professional challenges involved in juggling managerial careers and families. For the first time in American history, a significant number of mothers are heading major corporations, including General Motors, Ulta Beauty, and Best Buy. Over the past several decades, women have made gains throughout executive suites. Yet these “Power Moms” still struggle with balancing their management responsibilities with raising children. Joann S. Lublin draws on the experiences of the nation’s two generations of these successful women to measure how far we’ve come—and how far we still need to go.

Lublin combines her own insights with those of eighty-five executive mothers across industries—including experienced public-company chiefs such as Carol Bartz, the first woman to command Autodesk and Yahoo; Hershey’s Michele Buck, DuPont’s Ellen Kullman, ITT’s Denise Ramos, and WW International’s Mindy Grossman—and twenty-five of their grown daughters. Lublin reveals how trailblazer boomers, many now in their sixties, often endured sweeping disapproval for their demanding management careers, even as their own daughters sometimes rejected their choices. While the second wave of executive mothers—all under forty-five—handle working parenthood with less angst, they still lead stressful lives.

Power Moms provides lessons and advice to help today’s professional women, their families, and their employers navigate this challenging terrain. Lublin looks at the trade-offs mothers are too often forced to make between work and family and the root causes, including the dearth of large-scale paid parental leave and other family-friendly policies. While it celebrates the gains women have made, Power Moms makes clear how much more must be done to make being a working mother easier.

About the author:

Joann S. Lublin has been a journalist since she helped launch her elementary school newspaper at age 10. Both “Power Moms” and “Earning It” describe many of her experiences as a veteran journalist for The Wall Street Journal. She created “Managing Your Career,” the newspaper’s first career column, in 1993. “Your Executive Career,” her subsequent advice column, appeared regularly in the Journal until May 2020. In 2003, Ms. Lublin was a member of a Journal team awarded the Pulitzer Prize in explanatory reporting for a series of stories that exposed corporate scandals, bringing them to life in compelling narratives. In 2018, she won the Lifetime Achievement Award given annually by the Gerald Loeb Awards, the highest honor in business journalism. She was only the third woman to ever receive this prestigious award. As management news editor for the Journal until April 2018, Ms. Lublin wrote about issues such as executive pay, corporate governance, executive recruitment, management succession and women in the workplace. She remains a regular contributor to The Wall Street Journal, and often profiles high-achieving women for its Personal Board of Directors feature.