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Super Mom Versus Super Boss

Published on Wednesday January 15th, 2020

Freshly graduated from HEC, Caroline found a job almost immediately. If truth be told, up until that moment she had applied herself to her studies with conscientious dedication. She graduated from high school with honors, earned a degree from the best business school and completed a one-year internship in one of the largest corporate banks of New York. After a few job interviews, she was hired by a prestigious consulting firm. This line of work was very gratifying to her and she immediately invested body and soul into her new role. In the business world, 35h weeks are unknown. In addition to often leaving the office after 10pm, she travelled around the world to deal with international clients. Regardless, she had fulfilled her dream: making a living in a corporate position with serious responsibilities.

What a sweet revenge on the masculine gender! In a few years, she would become president of a large corporation and prove to everyone that a woman can do as much if not more than a man.

The years went by and everything was going as planned. Through hard work and perseverance, she climbed the ladder leading to the head of the firm.

At 32, a few months after her wedding, the head of a company which traded publicly contacted her with an offer to preside as the financial director of the firm. Overjoyed, she accepted. The recruitment process for a position of that caliber is long. To begin with, she had to meet with the director of human resources. That meeting went so well that the HR director complimented her:

"Your profile is amazing, and your skills comply perfectly with the position ... But I have one last question to ask: you don't have plans to have children within the next three years, do you? "

Suddenly, Caroline felt the ground opening under her feet. She had given her all to her career over the last ten years, proved her skills and even neglected her personal life. Now she was suddenly being relegated to her feminine nature.

Would the HR director have asked this question to her husband? Certainly not!

She could have opted to brush off the HR director with a joke, such as: "Stop, I feel like I'm talking to my mother! But she was no less disturbed.

The question about having a child perturbed her. She recalled memories of the last Pesach Seder where all her little nephews and nieces sang Ma Nishtana. Although she stood out professionally, she was the only childless cousin. What was her purpose? What did she have to prove? That she was brilliant, so what? In 30 years, when she would retire, it wouldn't make a difference whether she had been the director of a corporate firm or a saleslady in a clothing shop.

A child needs a loving, caring and available mother to give her quality time. Just like Caroline's mom. Unconsciously, the model of the businesswoman, which Caroline had doggedly pursued was crushing her femininity and endangering her future family life.

Thanks to this relevant question, she realized that contrary to stereotypes, the Torah does not relegate women to a lesser status. The Torah just suggests a change in the order of priorities: the couple, the children and finally, jobs, career and work.

During her second interview, her posture and speech had been transformed. She was just as eager to get the job, but after answering questions about her career, she stressed an important point which needed clarification: "Another important point I would like to make is that I hope to become a super mom as soon as possible. I imagine that your firm approves working from home like most large corporations! "

Then she added: "I am very dedicated and extremely conscientious, but there are priorities in life".

When she left the interview, Caroline felt deeply relieved. She had proved that she was not just another cog in the system.

That was four years ago. Since, Caroline juggles between her dream job, her little Ilan whose long curly hair has just been cut, and her three- month-old, Noa. Yes, her nights are short, but her life is fulfilled ...

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