It's fair to say that many women walk a thin line when it comes to balancing a career with children and family. The difficulties can be immense and the struggle constant. Some women sacrifice their ability to climb the corporate ladder so that they can spend more time at home. Some women swing the opposite way and dedicate themselves wholly to their work, and a few of those women strike gold.
Erin Carlyle of Forbes joined the Daily Ticker to discuss the life of a billionaire mom.
There are very few women on the Forbes Billionaire List, just 138 out of 1,426. The number becomes even smaller when you look only at female self-made billionaires; only 24 were included on the list this year.
Meg Whitman, former eBay CEO and current CEO of Hewlett-Packard, has had to juggle raising two sons and managing some of the biggest companies on Wall Street. Forbes estimates her net worth to be $1.9 billion.
"Her family is not a source of stress to her but a source of support," says Carlyle in an interview with The Daily Ticker. "She has two sons who both went to Princeton like she did and I think for her family is something that keeps her grounded and helps her with her endeavors instead of holding her back." Still, Whitman's children have had their share of bad press.
Tory Burch, the founder of the eponymous fashion label with a net worth of $1 billion still struggles to balance her career and her family life.
“As a woman in business, it’s the number one issue I face,” she told The Daily Beast in 2012. “It’s about time management and putting my boys and my stepdaughters first. That said, it’s hard and it’s something I struggle with and talk to women about, because I hope women understand that they can be in the business world and be a mom. It’s just a little more difficult and a matter of figuring it out.”
“The biggest challenge of being a billionaire mom is figuring out how much you can have your children in the spotlight,” says Carlyle.
Laurene Powell Jobs, widow of Steve Jobs with a net worth of $10.7 billion, is one billionaire mother who has done a good job of keeping her children away from the prying eyes of the media.
"She has three children and you don’t really hear about them. Her eldest child’s first debut to the press was on a quiz show when he used his mother’s maiden name," Carlyle notes.
Spats between children and billionaire mothers can often go public.
Gina Rinehart, the richest person in Australia with a fortune of $17 billion, has publicly battled with her children. Two of her children are seeking to oust their mining magnate mother as trustee of the multi-billion dollar family trust.
And what should the children of billionaires get their moms for Mother's Day? "Flowers and candy always works," says Carlyle.
You can contact this journalist on Twitter: @NicoleGoodkind.
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