There are some women who want it all. A career and a family. But sometimes it proves difficult to juggle both, and when you can’t, according to Gabrielle Union, you’re branded with the scarlet letter.
In a recent interview with Redbook magazine, Union laments how tough it’s been to start a family and juggle a career while doing so.
“The reality is that women are discriminated against in the workplace for being mothers,” Union told Redbook. “As much as there are strides being made—you get pregnant, your career takes a hit. You can’t have a bad day. Don’t you dare cry at work. Don’t raise your voice. Especially if you’re a black woman in corporate America—now you’re ‘the angry black woman.’”
Union definitely speaks the truth for tons of women out there. Regardless of Union’s celebrity status, there’s the commonality she shares with women who are in the workplace and juggling roles. Although Union may not have to deal with things like a company with archaic policies when it comes to maternity and paternity leave, Union still has to deal with the reality of possibly becoming pregnant and not being able to get acting roles.
And getting pregnant doesn’t seem to be an easy feat for Union and her husband, Dwyane Wade.
Union, 42, discussed the possibility of having children and the stigma women who have them later in life often face.
“So far, it has not happened for us,” Union said. “A lot of my friends deal with this. There’s a certain amount of shame that is placed on women who have perhaps chosen a career over starting a family younger. The penance for being a career woman is barrenness. You feel like you’re wearing a scarlet letter.”
Maybe “barrenness” is too harsh a word because, technically, it applies to women who are incapable of producing offspring because of medical issues, not exactly from having a career. But in any event, Union’s sentiments definitely echo those of other women who are in their 40s and have put off having children to focus on their career.