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Publisher's Summary

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 85 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 25 of their grown daughters. Lublin reveals how trailblazer boomers, many now in their 60s, 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 45 - 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.

©2021 Joann S. Lublin (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Power Moms

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Experiences of exec moms in the U.S., not globally

While it provides a good summary of the experiences of power moms in the United States, I wish it had more stories from moms elsewhere. It seemed as another Sheryl Sandberg book, women with privilege and power giving advice on how to raise children with means that are not affordable to all women business leaders. There are thousands of entrepreneur moms, who have to juggle running small and medium-sized businesses and raise a family with limited resources - how about their experiences? And it seemed a bit outdated as it told stories of Gen X women, and now we have Millenials and Gen Z running most of the women-owned businesses.

2 people found this helpful

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Terrible book

I feel sorry for the kids in this book who got shuffled off and forgotten. One of the tips is to drop your sick child off with neighbor who home schools so you can go to work. Because who cares about their children getting sick. Another tip is to hire a nanny who will treat your child like their own. Because why would you want your child to think you’re their mom. This book makes me wonder why these women even had children. It’s very clear the kids are the ones who paid the price just based on their comments in the book. As a working mom I know how hard it can be to juggle everything but this book did not provide one helpful solution.

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Didn’t meet my expectations

This book was marketed to me, being suggested reading with lots of pre-release review comments. I was looking for something that would give new insight and inspiration for single moms. Possibly spark new ideas for child connection and care while juggling a demanding/powerful career. It had none of this.
Written as a loose comparison between high level working moms of the past (primarily the 1980s) and millennium moms of recent times, it really doesn’t deeply delve into innovation and tools to make working motherhood work. It gets into how divided work and motherhood/parenting was for previous generations but then stresses how it hasn’t changed and how disappointed the author is with the inequalities and lack of balance today’s working moms deal with.
The profile of the ladies featured was disappointing. It seemed to want to find pairs of mother daughters, which was nice and had the possibility of offering some insight but ended up reinforcing that what works for one child/mom doesn’t work for another (or have the same effect). There was only one single mom in the group and it set the tone for a real disproportionate and out of sync story as the demographic in the USA today is not represented and thus (probably unintentionally) set the tone that single moms are not power moms.
The book talked about but didn’t get into the structures and support systems ladies need to seek out, nurture and develop to support being a power mom. It did talk about a shift in corporate culture.
Left feeling like we have a long way to go.

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Nothing New!

I like that you get to hear the tips and tricks of how rich women navigate motherhood, but nothing was no new or surprising. This book is no different than the thousands of working mom books that ignore the everyday working mom who doesn't have a corporate salary or the flexibility to hire help or leave work early.

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Read this book!

I really enjoyed this deeply reported book examining how working mothers have evolved over time. The rich anecdotes from dozens of working moms are impactful, as are the examples the author shares.
The changes women are facing in the workforce due to coronavirus make this book even more timely.

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A good insight

The book mainly covers women who hold powerful positions (as the title explains) mainly in the United States. Because of this, the solutions may be slightly discouraging to women who may not have the same resources as the power women covered. However, it is helpful in giving a general sense of potential problems (and solutions) on what is to come if one does become a powerful mom.

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Chronicles of a social revolution

Joann Lublin outdid herself again! This is a chronicle of a social revolution (or is it a painfully slow evolution)?

I was surprised as a boomer mom that so many others shared my experience. It hadn't even occured to me to connect with other moms, let alone discuss my "mom" status with anyone. I had my own hacks, and was amazed to discover other moms' ingeniuity. In some cases, it was painful to relive some of the situations moms had to deal with. I was delighted how things have evolved... how women and men now are sharing experiences, the increasing role of women in the workplace, and how this has shaped daughters and sons.

It am hopeful that as more women occupy senior levels in the workplace, and hopefully boards of directors, that this will help moms AND dads at all levels.

The one remaining question for those who feel that it was "our" fault for not sharing and demanding more equal rights: what is it that we do not dare speak of right now? What is a taboo to even bring up in the workplace? Perhaps, that will be the next impetus for change.

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Future power mom

It was a bit of a self indulgent and name drop-y for my taste. As a person that feels incredibly empowered by the prospect of motherhood and invigorated by the challenges, it just fell flat.

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  • Mohammed
  • 02-17-21

Interesting, but terrible narration

Book is very interesting and timely, but the narration is horrendous! The narrator sounds like Siri reading the book. She also oddly mispronounces words, including “affluent” and “prerequisite”. I found her voice highly distracting, and wish that this excellent book was read by someone else.