Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a billionaire philanthropist and the man whose name is on one of the New York City charter schools that is most often blamed for a rise in women with children in New York City, has an op-ed in The New York Times on women in the workplace. What he does not get is that femininity, and particularly motherhood, has long been a central trope in the workplace and often used to stereotype women.

The long-term solution to the question of whether women make good leaders — or good mothers — is not to forbid them from gaining power, or from having children. The solution is to allow each woman the time she needs to raise her child so that she can return to her job fully re-energized and ready to lead once her child is cared for.

The long-term solution to the question of whether women make good leaders — or good mothers — is not to forbid them from gaining power, or from having children. The solution is to allow each woman the time she needs to raise her child so that she can return to her job fully re-energized and ready to lead once her child is cared for.

It has long been common among male leaders — past and present — to portray women as primarily mothers whose choices are not acceptable, as Mr. Bloomberg stated: “Charter schools are typically set up to serve children in the poorest parts of the city.”

The problem is that this depiction is profoundly sexist.

In fact, there are many — if not most — working mothers in New York City, according to a new report by the New York Women’s Foundation. They are making tremendous contributions. In fact, according to the report, more than half of New York’s corporate workforce is comprised of women, a number that has steadily increased since 2002. As in many other professions, women now outnumber men in high-paying executive and managerial jobs, and have traditionally been the top earners in the city’s private companies.

And increasingly, women in the workforce are choosing to take on greater responsibilities. Over the past decade, reported stay-at-home mothers have doubled to 31 percent of the total, according to the report. More than a third of mothers of school-age children and nearly half of women between 40 and 49 will be the primary breadwinner in their households.

What New York is seeing is not the demise of the motherhood myth but the emergence of new realities: one in which working women can have it all, a fact which New York City politicians such as Mr. Bloomberg are trying to deny.

Read the full article here.

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