Magazine article Personnel Journal

Women Execs Can Feel at Ease about Taking Full Maternity Leaves

Magazine article Personnel Journal

Women Execs Can Feel at Ease about Taking Full Maternity Leaves

Article excerpt

Doesn't it seem as though Ann had her baby just one week ago, and now she's back at work already? Well, that just may be the case for many female executives who've recently become mothers.

For a number of new working moms, the idea of taking an extended leave from the office to care for newborns is not an option, says Rhonda Stegg, vice president of People Management, Inc., a New York City-based human resources consulting firm.

According to Stegg, maintaining their competitive edge is the main reason many female executives make a mad dash back to the office. "Some executives find they don't enjoy maternity leave as much as they expected. They miss being in on the action at the office, and try to come back as soon as they can--even within a month of childbirth," she says. But Stegg also adds that there's an overwhelming belief among many female executives that if they choose to take the full 12 weeks' leave guaranteed them by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), they'll be passed over for promotions or choice assignments. But, Cathy Feldman, author of the new book "Two Years Without Sleep: Working Moms Talk About Having a Baby," a collection of quotes and narratives from working mothers, says many working women shouldn't make such a broad assumption. "It's true that many women executives feel a lot of pressure; they're in a very competitive arena. But [having a competitive job] doesn't necessarily mean that women can't take a reasonable maternity leave, says Feldman. "If a woman is really worried about being passed over because she's out for a couple of weeks on maternity leave, she's got bigger problems than just that one. …

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