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Family and Career: Can American Women Have Both?

Is it possible for American women to have both a family and a successful career? In this Millennial Minute segment, host Julia Sun hears from Turning Point USA spokesperson Isabel Brown and Democratic strategist Nicole Brener Schmitz. 

“A delicate balance”

As a single mother with a career, Schmitz knows firsthand that “it is a delicate balance to maintain.” She believes part of the problem is Congress failing to legislate for adequate paid family leave. Women feel that they have to take a step back in the workplace to care of their families. 

Growing up, Brown’s mother was the main breadwinner for the family, while her father stayed home for several years raising the children. She says that “how we influence family life at home” plays a key role in encouraging young women to pursue a career, family or both.

“It was so inspiring to understand that nothing could hold my mother back other than her own determination,” Brown said.

How do we get there? 

In December of 2020, women made up all of the net job losses across the market. However, with more women in Congress than ever before and more women serving in senior positions in the executive branch, Brown believes that one month doesn’t indicate the whole story. 

“This is an inspiring and exciting time to be a young woman in this country,” says Brown.

Schmitz agrees that women have broken many glass ceilings in past years but notes that the bulk of minimum wage workers in the United States are women, which exacerbates the cycle of poverty for these women and their families. 

Conversations across the aisle 

Though they may disagree on how to get there, ultimately, Brown and Schmitz both want the same thing. 

“These conversations are crucial to understand where we can come together and create the future that we all are dreaming of,” says Brown. 

“We have the same goal,” Schmitz agrees. “Surely we can have conversations and find some common ground and ultimately achieve a situation where women are going to be able to have both a career and a successful family.”

We want to know what you think! Watch the full debate above and give us your thoughts in the comments. 

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