Celebrity Careers Enhanced by the “Mommy Track” – What About Yours?

Posted May 10, 2012 by Marcy Twete in Career Moves
Will becoming a mother hurt your career? Entire books, hell entire sections of bookstores, deal with this very topic. Will pregnancy and maternity leave and soccer games be detrimental to your career? Will you always look back at those women without kids and think about how you could’ve been in their corner office if only you hadn’t made the choices you made regarding your family? These questions plague women – will being a mother mean sacrificing higher salaries, better jobs, and don’t forget the vacation to Ibiza you never took.

And while the average American woman is watching Sheryl Sandberg tell us not to “leave before we leave” and reading Leslie Bennetts’ books about whether or not we’re giving up too much for our families, it seems that celebrity women are encountering just the opposite.

It seems, these days, in the celebrity world, to revive, rebuild or establish a career, all you have to do is get one coveted item – a baby bump. In his thought-provoking article in the New York Times, Jacob Bernstein writes about “The Baby Bump” and would-be washed-up celebrities who are reviving their careers and enhancing their brands not through new TV shows or albums, but through pregnancies and babies. These women are making motherhood cool again – but here’s my question, is that “cool factor” spilling over into the lives of the average American mom? Take these celebrities, for example:

  • Jennifer Garner – can anyone actually remember the last time she was in a movie? Yet she’s in the magazines and on TV, mostly because of her multiple seemingly back-to-back pregnancies. It’s clear she’s taken a break from her career to parent. Does that choice make her more appealing to average women?
  • Heidi Klum and Angelina Jolie – I group these two ladies together not just because they’re tall and beautiful, but because they tote around not just one child, but a huge group of them. I also can’t help but notice more families in America these days are having more than the average 2.5 children. Could these big broods be the reason?

I’d love to hear from the moms on Career Girl Network – do celebrity pregnancies affect you in any way? Does the media presence of the “mommy track” make it easier to explain your own hopes of motherhood or family needs?

About the Author

Marcy Twete

Marcy Twete is a career fundraiser turned corporate responsibility executive, a career and networking expert and the author of the book "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works."