It wasn't so long ago that the "normal" family consisted of a father who went to work every day and a mother who stayed home and minded the house and the children. My, how times have changed. These days, many of the most successful women in business are also moms. Some are heads of companies, some are entrepreneurs, and all are as busy as it gets.
So, how do they balance work and family? Well, they'll all admit that it isn't easy, but that it's totally worth it. And most of these power moms agree that following their passions makes them a better parent all around. So, what's the secret of their success to this elusive work-life balance? Read on for the tips, tricks and compromises of the women who have it all.
Josie Maran is a former model who became a natural makeup mogul at the ripe young age of 29. Maran was a Maybelline girl for 10 years, where she got the inside scoop on what she was putting on her face. As an aspiring entrepreneur, it was a no-brainer that she launched her self-titled line of non-toxic cosmetics in 2007 -- no doubt influenced by her environmentally conscious upbringing. After the birth of her daughter, she was fortunate to be able to spend a year at home with her before she went back to work. Maran cites her young daughter as the reason she's not a complete workaholic, because her family forces her to create a healthy work-life balance.
Liz Lange worked on staff in the fashion department at Vogue before leaving to work for a small designer. She noticed a void in the market for fashionable maternity wear and decided to do something about it. Lange opened her first store in 1997 and over the next decade, grew Liz Lange Maternity into a multi-million dollar brand. And did we mention she had two children during that time? Lange's strategy for managing her growing family along with her growing business meant focusing on the priorities at hand. She eliminated plugged-in parenting (no cell phones or e-mails) and stays present when she's with her family. But she still maintains a healthy respect for her Smartphone and attributes it to being able to juggle being a business owner and a mom.
Rachel Berliner was a pregnant vegetarian when she started worrying about having time to prepare the healthy fare she was used to eating once her daughter was born. Berliner and her husband Andy recognized a severe lack of tasty and easy to make vegetarian food on the market, and launched Amy's Kitchen (named after their newborn daughter) out of their house using high-quality ingredients and time-tested recipes. Amy's Kitchen is now a $270 million empire yet remains a family affair, employing their mothers, brothers, and of course, Amy herself.
You've certainly heard of Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx, the woman's shapewear giant. But you may not have heard of Laurie Ann Goldman, the current CEO of Spanx, and the woman behind the woman. In her tenure, Goldman has helped grow the brand into a $350 million enterprise, all while raising three children. After a decade in a demanding job at Coca-Cola, Goldman was looking for a career path that would allow her to dedicate more time to her family and community, which she highlighted in her job interview with Spanx in 2002. She even made sure her original contract with the company stated that they recognized her outside obligations.
Charlene Begley was always driven to succeed, but moving up into the executive ranks of the notoriously male-driven General Electric Company landed her on Forbes' list of 50 most powerful women in 2010. As the mother of three, and the current president and CEO of GE Home and Business Solutions, her career path hasn't been easy, but it's certainly been rewarding. She credits much of her success in balancing her work and family with her husband's support and a flexible work schedule. And what's the big secret to her success? She doesn't work weekends.
Beginning her career as a secretary to a powerful BBC producer, Amy Pascal has certainly moved up the proverbial corporate ladder -- and what a climb it's been. As co-chairman of Sony Pictures, Amy Pascal is well-regarded as one of the most powerful women in Hollywood -- a job which landed her on Forbes' list of the most powerful women in 2010.
After 25 years in the business, though, it was time to add the role of mom to her impressive resume. When her son was little, she kept a crib in her office, and as he got older, she would get up extra early to spend time with him before leaving for her busy day. She's the first to admit that meshing children and her important role in the entertainment industry is a constant challenge, which she likens to "juggling mountains." But she also acknowledges how much her son changed her life, and she's committed to setting boundaries.
Gina Drosos is the Group President of Procter and Gamble Global Beauty. Her role is to manage a $20 million business and is one that landed her on the Forbes Most Powerful Women list of 2010. She's also married with two kids, and maintains that there's no such thing as work-life balance. Drosos finds that the key to juggling her dual role as executive and mom is to determine her biggest priorities and to focus on those first. She acknowledges this strategy requires investing most of her time in a certain priority while coasting in another, and that this is a tough compromise. But she attributes her success to the team effort of her family.
From her start as a writer on "Saturday Night Live," Tina Fey has catapulted up the ranks into her current role as producer, writer and actress on NBC's popular sitcom, "30 Rock." But TV is not her only outlet. Critics hailed her 2004 major motion picture "Mean Girls" as smart and edgy. She has won countless awards, including AP's Entertainer of the Year designation. In 2005, she added to her impressive list of accomplishments with the birth of her daughter.
It's typical for a job title in Hollywood to be hyphenated, but it doesn't always include Mom, and Fey is the first to admit it's a constant challenge. Her husband provides much of the childcare and Fey often brings her work home with her so she can spend as much time as possible with her daughter. She realizes that her busy dual role doesn't allow much time for anything else, but accepts these limitations as the way things are for the time being.
Kim Graham-Nye was pregnant with her first child and living in Australia when she read an article about how damaging disposable diapers are to our environment. Nye and her husband bought the sales rights to an eco-friendly flushable diaper, moved to Portland, Ore., and gDiapers was born. A contract with Whole Foods and celebrity endorsements got the company on the map, and sales have doubled every year. Their company offers on-site childcare and a flexible work schedule for their employees to accommodate busy family lives. And Nye, who has two kids of her own, takes full advantage of their family-friendly policies. She works the early shift so she's home in time to pick the kids up from school and spend time with them in the evenings.
Julie Aigner Clark started her empire by making videos with hand puppets for her infant daughter after she couldn't find any products like it on the market. She took her videos to trade shows and Baby Einstein became an instant success. She ultimately sold the business to Disney, but for most of its time under her tutelage, she ran the business out of her home to allow her to spend time with her daughter. Her new enterprise, called the Safe Side, is a series of videos to teach kids about safety issues. This, too, is a home-based business, and she credits hiring a full-time housekeeper as one of the best decisions she ever made to help her balance running a business and a family.
HowStuffWorks learns about the free-range parenting philosophy and talks to the movement's founder Lenore Skenazy.
- "50 Most Powerful Women." Cnnmoney.com, 2010.http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2010/fortune/1009/gallery.most_powerful_women.fortune/index.html
- "About Josie Maran Cosmetics." Josiemarancosmetics.com, 2010.http://www.josiemarancosmetics.com/brand.html
- "Amy Pascal." Workingmother.com, 2010.http://www.workingmother.com/BestCompanies/most-powerful-moms/2010/03/most-powerful-moms-in-media-in-pictures?page=0%2C5
- Brady, Diane. "Crashing GE's Glass Ceiling." Businessweek.com, July 28, 2003.http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/03_30/b3843105.htm
- Brown, Laura. "Tina Fey Rocks." Harpersbazaar.com, November, 2009.http://www.harpersbazaar.com/magazine/cover/tina-fey-interview-1109
- Dam, Julie K.L and Sheff-Cahan, Vicki. "Healthy Prophets." People Magazine, December 18, 2000.http://www.amyskitchen.com/news/001218_people_magazine.php
- Dawson, Angela. "Tina Fey talks on marriage, children and 'Date Night'." Knoxville.com, April 7, 2010.http://www.knoxville.com/news/2010/apr/07/tina-fey-talks-marriage-children-and-date-night/?partner=RSS
- Druxman, Lisa. "Famous Mompreneurs Speak Out!" entrepreneur.com, September 1, 2006.http://www.entrepreneur.com/startingabusiness/mompreneur/mompreneurcolumnistlisadruxman/article166396.html
- Druxman, Lisa. "Top 10 Must-Haves for Mompreneurs." Entrepreneur.com, March 2, 2009.http://www.entrepreneur.com/startingabusiness/mompreneur/mompreneurcolumnistlisadruxman/article200388.html
- Hampton, Aubrey. "Ten Synthetic Cosmetic Ingredients to Avoid." Organicconsumers.org, 2010.http://www.organicconsumers.org/bodycare/toxic_cosmetics.cfm
- "Josie Maran." Ladieswholaunch.com, June 23, 2008.http://www.ladieswholaunch.com/magazine/josie-maran-230/1484
- "Josie Maran." Workingmother.com, April, 2010.http://www.workingmother.com/BestCompanies/most-powerful-moms/2010/04/most-powerful-moms-green-moms-in-pictures?page=0%2C5
- "Josie Maran is the Face of Natural Beauty." Thedailygreen.com, April 20, 2010.http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/latest/josie-maran- interview-0420
- "Kim Graham-Nye." Workingmother.com, 2010.http://www.workingmother.com/BestCompanies/most-powerful-moms/2010/04/most-powerful-moms-green-moms-in-pictures?page=0%2C3
- Levin, Robert. "Interview with Liz Lange - Great Expectations." Nyreport.com, May 21, 2007.http://www.nyreport.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=Feature.showFeature&FeatureID=473
- "Oprah Talks to Tina Fey." Oprah.com, January 20, 2009.http://www.oprah.com/world/Oprah-Winfrey-Interviews-Tina-Fey/1
- "P&G's beauty biz pres. on work/life." Cnnmoney.com, 2010.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPRppsIcfSY&feature=related
- Sher, Cindy. "Spanx CEO talks business, work life balance, community -- and muffin top fixes." Oychicago, June 15, 2010.http://www.oychicago.com/article.aspx?id=6632
- Sperling, Nicole. "Amy Pascal, Sony Pictures Entertainment." The Hollywood Reporter, December 5, 2006.http://www.allbusiness.com/services/motion-pictures/4813054-1.html
- Spiro, Josh. "Building a Family-focused Brand." Inc.com, August 5, 2010.http://www.inc.com/articles/2010/08/gdiapers-q-and-a.html
- "The Family." Amyskitchen.com, 2010.http://www.amyskitchen.com/about_us/the_family.php
- "There is No Such Thing as Work Life Balance." Evancarmichael.com, 2006.http://www.evancarmichael.com/Business-Coach/192/There-is-No-Such-Thing-as-Work-Life-Balance.html
- "Three Business Strategies for Small Business Entrepreneurs." Powerhombiz.com, May 18, 2010.http://www.powerhomebiz.com/blog/2010/05/business-strategies-for-small-business-entrepreneurs/
- "Vegetarianism in America." Vegetariantimes.com, 2008.http://www.vegetariantimes.com/features/archive_of_editorial/667
- "We Love: Rachel Berliner, Amy's Kitchen Cofounder." Everywomansvoice.com, March 11, 2008.http://www.everywomansvoice.com/?q=node/383