Trump’s former campaign manager Kellyanne Conway told an audience that mothers should shy away from high-powered career opportunities. She went on to elaborate that the standard doesn’t apply to fathers, who can handle juggling family and a demanding work schedule.
Conway offered her insights at Politico’s “Women Rule” event Wednesday. The first woman to successfully run a presidential campaign told the audience it would be impossible for her to serve in the Trump White House and continue to be a good mother to her four young children.
Conway at the Politico event:
“I do politely mention to them the question isn’t would you take the job, the male sitting across from me who’s going to take a big job in the White House. The question is would you want your wife to,” Conway said, describing conversations she’s had with male colleagues. “Would you want the mother of your children to? You really see their entire visage change. It’s like, oh, no, they wouldn’t want their wife to take that job.”
Mothers and fathers are entitled to prioritize their families over time-intensive work opportunities. Working in the White House is an honor that undeniably takes an incredible amount of dedication and long hours at the office. Where Conway gets it wrong is assuming that mothers are responsible for limiting their career opportunities to provide care for their families. Her statement implies that that no good mother should ever consider leaving her children behind for professional pursuits.
After her remarks at the Politico event, current senior advisor Valerie Jarrett approached Conway backstage and encouraged her to at least give working in the White House a shot. “I think tone starts at the top, and if you have a relationship with your boss such that you can say, ‘Look, this is a top priority. There’s nothing more important for me than being a good mom, but I think I can be a good mom and have the flexibility enough to do this job well,’ ” Jarrett said before adding, “Plus, you can always leave if it doesn’t work out.” (Words of wisdom for anyone considering a job offer.)