How does one best fit pregnancy into a PE career

As a woman eyeing a career in PE, how could one best plan pregnancy to minimise damage to one's career progression. Time it with MBA? Wait till Director or even Partner?

I doubt there are many mothers on here who can speak from experience, but I value the application of anyone's mind.

Comments (38)

May 9, 2017

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May 7, 2017

baby bump

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May 4, 2017

I know I am going to get shot down with steaming turds for this but........................
At my new shop (PE) there is an unwritten policy to only hire women who have gone beyond the likely age for bearing a child. Having to pay for maternity leave (at least in the UK) and dealing with the disruption and expense of having to replace a member of staff for a period of time is a major PITA.

Back on the trading desks at a BB, we have a few females in their late twenties/early thirties so I guess its different there.

In my opinion timing it with an MBA would be the best from an employers point of view. I do know of MD/ED at BB I used to work at with kids. None of the partners at my current firm are female so can't comment on that.

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May 9, 2017

Have you done an MBA? or a Masters? What would you say is the viability of juggling a newborn baby and school?

May 4, 2017

Neither and I'm a single guy who avoids children like the plague so I am not the best person to comment.
I have heard of it been done though and the people involved always seemed exhausted.

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May 8, 2017

Booth might work out well- no grade disclosure + still a top school (could spend more time at home with kids etc)

if you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you'll be successful

Jul 29, 2018
IBDMagician:

Have you done an MBA? or a Masters? What would you say is the viability of juggling a newborn baby and school?

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Jul 29, 2018
IBDMagician:

Have you done an MBA? or a Masters? What would you say is the viability of juggling a newborn baby and school?

It is definitely viable to do all three at once. It will take a lot of hard work and determination, but it is possible and I am confident you can pull it off. You're obviously entering uncharted territory trying to keep three things moving in the right direction simultaneously, it's going to take a lot of focus on your part, otherwise you'll get overwhelmed and easily lose your grip on everything.

It certainly tested what I was capable of, but I was was able to pull it off. It took a lot of trial and error to figure out what worked and what didn't, it was a lot to grasp with so much going on simultaneously. It's a lot to have up in the air all at once, and its a heavier load than most people can handle and are able to achieve, but it's not impossible and I am more than confident that you'll pull it off, but your hands are going to be full with so many things hanging over your head.

Speaking from experience, just don't try to take on more than this, you'll end up sacrificing too much trying to juggle more than three babies at once, I learned the hard way that juggling more than three just isn't possible and gets messy real quick. I tried long and hard to go beyond three, and tried my best to learn from my mistakes but was never able to pull it off after the adoption agency cut me off. Feel free to PM me if you need any advice.

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Jul 29, 2018
IBDMagician:

Have you done an MBA? or a Masters? What would you say is the viability of juggling a newborn baby and school?

One last piece of advice, I would recommend reaching out to China, as they have a wealth of resources if your looking to gain more experience. Best of luck.

May 14, 2017

This is fascinating to me, but not surprising I guess. So if your PE shop is only hiring "older" women, what kind of hires are they? Post-MBA entry level or experienced laterals who have worked elsewhere already?

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Best Response
May 4, 2017

Well if you wanna do PE as a job, just make sure you have enough of those carts with wheels, dodgeballs, and authority so that your students mind you. I'm glad people are aspiring to do Physical Education these days. Kids are getting so fat in America.

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May 4, 2017

I think the really important question is not so much when is the best time to go through a pregnancy but rather, when is the best time to be raising a young child. With that in mind, it's clear that the more senior you are, the more you can dictate your own schedule and have flexibility (it's much easier for a partner to leave the office at 5 and then pick up work later in the evening that it is for a senior associate). This is obviously not specific to PE and there's a clear trend, especially among career-oriented women, to have their first child much later in life. Companies are also very much aware of that dynamic (Apple, FB egg freezing, etc).

That being said, the question also really depend on your personal circumstances: what does your partner do, what's your support system, how much of the child raising are you willing to outsource. If you have a partner that can significantly scale back or give up work for a couple years to take care of the kids would allow more flexibility. (it's 2017, it's ok for women to be the bread-winner). Being in a 2 high income relationship will make things a little more complicated, you'll have to be ok with nannies raising your kids.

Firm culture will also have an impact. Places that have female partners or where the partners have working spouse will obviously be a lot more understanding than a firm where all the partners have housewives.

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May 5, 2017

Don't. Save the kid the trouble of not having the mother around. There's plenty of children already on this earth.

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May 5, 2017

Throw all the money shit, I couldn't care less. At no point in your question did you show any concern for the quality of upbringing you could provide the child. We have PLENTY of shit kids in this world, please don't add to the list.

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May 5, 2017
<span itemprop=name>CanadianEnergyBanker</span>:

Throw all the money shit, I couldn't care less. At no point in your question did you show any concern for the quality of upbringing you could provide the child. We have PLENTY of shit kids in this world, please don't add to the list.

I don't know why this received so much MS, but this couldn't be truer. So many shit kids, because their parents didn't raise them well.

At OP, most firms balk at hiring a mother of a baby/child/preggers, etc, simply because of efficiency concerns. Even if the firm does agree to hire you, they're expecting that you'll stay, but won't promote you for a host of other reasons. Regardless of what most firms tout as being mom-friendly and shit, finance and especially PE/HF is difficult for career-aspirant wannabe moms. For instance, at my firm, one of the MDs (a group head) is over 40, and he's getting engaged to his fiance (at a HF) who's nearing her 40s herself. I'm pretty sure he's either got her eggs freezed somewhere, or they don't bother with it at all.

If you want to raise a child, join an IB as an associate, then move into a tech company or a startup. Finance is otherwise less forgiving, even of working moms.

GoldenCinderblock: "I keep spending all my money on exotic fish so my armor sucks. Is it possible to romance multiple females? I got with the blue chick so far but I am also interested in the electronic chick and the face mask chick."

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Jul 31, 2018

Isn't this the idiocracy thesis. All the idiots have kids and everyone with the talent to be a high paid professional avoids having kids causing the gene pool talent to collapse.

Array
Aug 2, 2018

She can quality upbring him right into her firm as an associate so probably not an issue

May 6, 2017
<span itemprop=name>CanadianEnergyBanker</span>:

Don't. Save the kid the trouble of not having the mother around. There's plenty of children already on this earth.

I couldn't agree more. Good luck having a fucked up kid raised by nannies.

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May 12, 2017

For some people, career is more important than kids - a good advice would be for them to not have kids. Seems that there are too many cold materialistic people out there, who never realize what the true happiness in life is.

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May 6, 2017

One of the top performing women at the fund I used to work at had a stay at home husband and took like a week off at most on maternity leave, so I guess that's an option?

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May 7, 2017

It's tough to be a working parent, unless you have a stay at home. That said there is no good timing for raising a kid. Just bite the bullet and go with the flow.

And frankly, I know way more people who were f-ed up by being raised by their stay at home mom than people who were helped raised by their grandma or nanny.

May 7, 2017

This is why I'm marrying an instagram model, teacher, nurse, or pediatrician.

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May 5, 2017

Me too. fistbump

GoldenCinderblock: "I keep spending all my money on exotic fish so my armor sucks. Is it possible to romance multiple females? I got with the blue chick so far but I am also interested in the electronic chick and the face mask chick."

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May 22, 2017

A Dermatologist would work too, pretty good hours, good skin.

May 8, 2017

I have seen a few examples of hig powered working mums although not many, including

1) the MD/regional head in my previous job (leveraged finance, commercial bank) - where she had a nanny 12 hrs a day, would rush back home at 7pm to take over from the nanny and then log back in after dinner/bath. Does not sound fun

2) my current boss (CFO of a company doing $160mn annual EBITDA) who has 3 children and where her parents leave in the same house and basically look after her children for her. She essentially works all hours of the day and night and skypes her children at 8pm to see them take the bath.... I do find it quite sad but to each their own I guess

I suggest you read "lean in" from Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook Chief Operating Officer who's a single mum after her husband died while exercising, may give you a good idea and show you that it is possible despite what the haters say

Best of luck

Disclaimer: I cannot comment to private-equity specific experience

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May 8, 2017

Alright, allow me to make things more complicated: consider that women eggs start declining after 35 and even after 30 it's considered at risk; meaning that if you have a baby post 30-35, there's a higher risk of genetic problems not to mention the higher risk for your health.

Now, it's great you want to have babies and want to plan in advance, because compared to you most girls just go with ''not going to have babies''. However the above mentioned is a topic I touch with any potential partner. If she wants to have babies and want to work, before 35 or ideally before 30 would be the way to go for me. I'm going as far as saying that in the exact moment she says ''I don't care/after 35'' I lose any interest in the girl, just like I would if a girl aged 25+ would tell me ''no babies''.

May 8, 2017

Tell the partner you're sleeping with that you take the pill. Get prego. Profit.

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May 8, 2017

There is no good time.

That being said, you don't need everything in life to fit neatly into a plan. Figure out what's important to you and act accordingly. If having kids is a huge priority and having a career is equally important to you, you might try to find a husband who is willing to stay with the kids. Many women don't find guys who make less money than they do attractive, but it works for guys, so why not for you?

No matter what, you are bound by biology. If you wait too long, your only option left will be adoption. Not a bad thing, as far as I'm concerned.

Are you married now or getting married soon?

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May 9, 2017

She could freeze her eggs. I've discussed this with my girl as we're the same age and I have no desire to have kids before 35+

May 8, 2017

Collect a bunch of cash by whatever means necessary and hire a live-in nanny. Basically a mother for hire

You're welcome

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May 14, 2017

Bump

Don't say this in a banking interview:

Which superhero would you be and why? I want to be like Robin Hood, stealing from the rich and giving to the poor - me.

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May 14, 2017

Two people that I know and work(ed) in PE have had children while they were in their mid 30s:
1) Got hired as an associate after her IB stint. It didn't have a hit on her career as far as I can tell, primarily because she worked through almost the entire pregnancy (don't discount how much of a strain a baby will take on your body before and after it is being born and your inability to work due to this). Afterwards, she had a nanny who was there from 8am to 9pm.
2) Had been with the firm for about 3 years. She was a clear overperformer (was rumored to get promoted to be a partner after another 1-2 years but before she announced the pregnancy) and took ~3 months off. One of the founding partners didn't like her (and he didn't like that she took so much time off) and made her life a living hell afterwards. She quit and moved to a startup in a different state. If I remember correctly, she also had a nanny for ~12 hours per day.

So as a takeaway from this anecdotal evidence, I would suggest that you get a nanny (which are really expensive by the way), try to be involved as much in the day to day activities even while you are away from the team (dial in to team meetings, etc.), remain close to all deals/port cos which you usually cover and make sure that your husband is understanding all of this from the beginning. I can't stress the last point enough. You definitely need to have an honest discussion with him because this suggested takeaway poses an incredibly strain on you and therefore might have impacts on your baby as well.

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May 7, 2017
Comment
May 14, 2017