University of Rochester

EVENT: Motherhood and Management?

October 8, 2009

2009 Stanton/Anthony Conversations Explores How Attitudes about Moms Limit Leadership Roles

The gender-based stereotypes have existed for decades: mothers as caretakers and leaders as career-driven workaholics, implying that women can be either good mothers or effective leaders, but not both. However, the assumption will be challenged through "Mothers as Leaders: Challenges and Contradictions", the topic of discussion at the 2009 Stanton/Anthony Conversations and Luncheon, taking place on the University of Rochester's River Campus, Oct. 9 at noon.

The event will feature keynote speaker Judith Warner, author of the best-selling book, Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety, and a regular New York Times blogger. "We want to look at traditional thinking, from all angles, and search for ways to carve out a new identity for women in the modern world," says Nora Bredes, director of the University's Susan B. Anthony Center for Women's Leadership. Also participating in this year's panel discussion is Pamela Tanner Boll, artist, activist, and director of the award-winning documentary, Who Does She Think She Is?, and Elrena Evans, co-editor of Mama, Ph.D.: Women Write About Motherhood and Academic Life.

"Our goal is to address the social hurdles mothers face as they seek to lead in business, academia, and government," says Bredes. According to a survey conducted by the Catalyst Organization, in 1999, four women held the title of president and CEO in all Fortune 500 companies. Although that number has more than tripled since, now there are still only 15 women among the current Fortune 500 CEOs.

"During a time when women earn 79 cents on the dollar in comparison to men, it is time that we take a look back at why we think this is. The statistics serve as a reminder that the ideas we carry around with us are what shape our behavior," explains Bredes.

Co-sponsored by the Anthony and Meliora Weekend, the 2009 Stanton/Anthony Conversations begins Friday, Oct. 9, first with a luncheon. Starting at 1:45 p.m. the conversations part of the event is free and open to the public. For more information call the Anthony Center at 585-275-8799.