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Jack Welch on Working Mothers and Life Balance

Man Says Women Can't Have It All, But One Mom Begs to Differ

Voices of authority can often validate one's beliefs or make them feel empty. Jack Welch, a successful businessman and former CEO of GE, told a crowd of human resource specialists:

There's no such thing as work-life balance... There are work-life choices, and you make them, and they have consequences... We’d love to have more women moving up faster... But they’ve got to make the tough choices and know the consequences of each one.

Stay-at-home moms may find comfort in these words while a working mommy questions her nine-to-five routine. Working mother Alexandra Lebenthal, Chief Executive Officer of Lebenthal & Company LLC, took the time to respond to Mr. Welch's claims. To see what she had to say,

. Her rebuttal:

Every time a man says it's harder to get ahead I wonder if it is because he is opposed to the idea... In my 23 years of working, I have seen many women show they could make it work... That is not to say it was easy. There are always choices and trade-offs. At the same time there are also great rewards. I have met many children of high-powered women who exhibit a tremendous sense of confidence and independence.

While some mamas choose to pursue a career, others are forced to go to work for financial reasons. Either way, it seems unfair to tell women that they "can't have it all" when there's really no evidence to state otherwise. Whose views do you agree with more: Jack Welch or Alexandra Lebenthal?

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
angelbaby2 angelbaby2 7 years
too bad that jack welch broke up his current wife's marriage. her name is suzy and, funny, but she has 4 kids and has always worked and still does, plus she is at least 25 years younger than he is!
MarinerMandy MarinerMandy 7 years
You can never have it all in life. Unfortunately, some of the things you want to do will not happen. For example, if I were to live in all the different place I want to live I would have to move every month! With the work/life balance you do have to prioritize and give things up here and there. It doesn't mean you can't be very good at both your career and as a mother, but there will be some give and take. It's inevitable.
hausfrau hausfrau 7 years
i'm sorry but i got a lil chuckle out of your comment jenn - you say "I don't judge anyone because of their choices" then you go on to say "I'm sure this guy never saw his kids, never lifted a finger around the house and now, looking back says "that's the only way it would have ever worked."
lawyerjenn lawyerjenn 7 years
As an attorney, I am SICK AND FREAKING TIRED of people telling me either #1 I can't be a good mom or #2 I can't be a good lawyer because I'm both. Screw that and screw you Mr Welch. I don't judge anyone because of their choices, to work, to stay home, to have 10 kids, to have no kids. And I'll be danged if anyone is goign to judge me as a mom or a lawyer. I think I'm really good at both. I'm sure this guy never saw his kids, never lifted a finger around the house and now, looking back says "that's the only way it would have ever worked." He has to tell himself that because he knows he's missed out on so much. He's trying to justify to himself why he missed his children. That's a choice he made. I choose to work as an attorney and kick butt at that for 9 hours a day. but the moment I'm out of here, the moment I'm home, I am all mom and wife. My baby adores me and is beautiful healthy and happy. Don't tell me I'm not good at both.
lickety-split lickety-split 7 years
this man has 4 children, but how much time does he spend with them. my husband has the career he has partly because i am at home with the kids. we have a family together, each making our contribution. i never really clicked with a job until i became a mom; that's my career. my husband LOVES his job (most days, lol). it works well. i wanted to see the first steps and be there when my kids got home from school, etc. after we each had a couple of kids a friend of mine asked me if i ever looked back at my old job and thought "wow, was that really me?" and i told her "no. i look back and wonder why i ever thought it was important".
Lyngay Lyngay 7 years
He may have kids, but I'm sure sacrifices are made for his job too. It's just much more socially acceptable for a man to not see his kids because he's working so hard. If a woman does that, people wonder what's wrong with her.
queenegg queenegg 7 years
I think that women can have it all. I know my Grandmother raised four boys, then me, suceeded at her job, and was always there for recitals, games, whatever. Since I'm having a child in January, I hope that I can manage the same.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 7 years
I think he is right. I dont believe you can have it all, sacrifices are going to be made at work or at home and usually its the home that gets the shaft and therefore your kids. Dont fool yourself to think that isnt the truth.
Moms Moms 7 years
I believe women can have it all — marriage, children, career, friends, etc.— you just have to be willing to give some sleep and me time, let the little stuff go or hire help!
hausfrau hausfrau 7 years
besides, he isn't faulting anyone for their choices. she's been too sensitive. its not a matter of women not being able to have it all, its a matter of PEOPLE not being able to have it all.
hausfrau hausfrau 7 years
Well he's right. There's a set amount of time in every day and you can't be everywhere all the time. You have to make choices and as long as you're comfortable with those choices, thats all that matters.
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