Why We Should Be Happy the New Zealand Prime Minister is Pregnant

Posted by on January 23, 2018 in Government with 0 Comments
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Ulysse Bellier –
Jacinda Ardern at the University of Auckland | Flickr

By Ashleigh Wilson | Uplift Connect

Can Women Really Have it All?

It’s the elephant in the room during job interviews, the first thought when a woman puts on a wedding ring, the question women are bombarded with once they reach 30: Will you be having kids soon?

If, as a woman, you do choose to have children, it is automatically assumed your career will be over. No questions asked there. After all, how could you possibly succeed in a leadership role and be a mother?

However, women can (and do) excel in both, and the New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, is about to show the world how it is done.

At 37 years old, Ardern is the world’s youngest female leader–this is no small feat in itself. Currently, there are only 15 world leaders who are women, out of a total of 193 UN member states.

Ardern has taken one more step that is unheard of for a female Prime Minister. She has announced that she and her partner Clark will be expecting their first child in June.

I’ll be prime minister and a mum, and Clarke will be ‘first man of fishing’ and stay at home dad. I think it’s fair to say that this will be a wee one that a village will raise, but we couldn’t be more excited.

Taking just six weeks off from her role as Prime Minister, but staying fully contactable, Ardern will be doing what millions of women around the world do every day–juggling full-time work and motherhood.

Jacinda Ardern announces pregnancy

Ardern and her partner excitedly announce the news of her pregnancy.

The Truth about Professionalism and Motherhood

Research shows, despite common myths about kids being neglected, children of working mothers actually end up being more successful and well-rounded adults. Forbes has reported on a Harvard study which found that daughters of working mums grew up to “accomplish more at work, earn more money and climb higher on the corporate ladder”. While the sons “pitch in more at home, clocking almost twice as many hours on family and child care as men with stay-at-home moms.”

Additionally, women who are able to continue to progress in their careers, regardless of their family, are able to offer many benefits to organisations. For example, according to a study by Catalyst, Fortune 500 companies with more female board directors attained “significantly higher financial performance”.

Another study published in the Harvard Business Review found that women leaders were rated more highly in 12 of the 16 competencies required for outstanding leadership.

In the US, women gain 60 percent of undergraduate degrees, and 60 percent of all master’s degrees, making them, overall, more educated than men.

Unfortunately, despite this research and the ongoing women’s movement, women are still lagging in leadership roles. In America, they make up “only 14.6 percent of executive officers, 8.1 percent of top earners, and 4.6 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs.”

Women in the workplace

Even though women make up more than half of the workforce they are sparse at the top. Image: Zenger Folkman

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