TODAY   |  May 25, 2013

Billionaire under fire after suggesting motherhood destroys ambition

Paul Tudor Jones is one of the world’s savviest investors, but the hedge fund billionaire and philanthropist is trying to explain comments about motherhood and high finance that are getting a lot of attention for all the wrong reasons. NBC’s Andrea Mitchell reports.

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>>> one of the world's most wealthiest men is backtracking about controversial comments he made about working months. andrea mitchell has more from our d.c. bureau. good morning.

>> good morning. paul jones is one of the world's savviest investors but he's now trying to explain comments about motherhood and high finance that are getting a lot of attention for all of the wrong reasons. it's what the hedge fund wizard said at this university of virginia symposium that's causing so much buzz that women can't be effective global traders, an elite profession, if they have a child. what he called a focus killer. a conclusion based on two women he knew in the '70s.

>> they both had children. as soon as that baby's lips touched that girl's bosom, forget it. every single investment idea, every desire to understand -- every desire to understand what will make this go up or go down will be overwhelmed by the most beautiful experience which a man will never share.

>> reporter: that set off a firestorm in an age where women are urged to fight harder. women are only 4% of the ceos at the top 500 companies. yahoo! ceo marissa mayer told savannah guthrie juggling her powerful job and a new child requires focus but she does it.

>> overall i've been having a terrific time with both being a mother and being a ceo.

>> reporter: jones apologized saying he was talking off the cuff about an elite group of global traders who need to focus 24/7 on a job requiring high degree of skill, focus and repetition.

>> we all, men and women in the modern world , have a lot of different things to focus on. we have ageing parents. we have illnesses in our family. we have marriages. we have divorces, and yes, some of us have babies. men as well as women i would like to point out.

>> reporter: even though more and more women are graduating from business schools , women aren't cracking that glass ceiling when it comes to corporate boardrooms or wall street trading.