TODAY   |  January 13, 2014

Women struggle to balance family, career

NBC’s Maria Shriver talks about her upcoming special “Doing It all” with Natalie Morales, and is joined by LinkedIn career expert Nicole Williams and Erica Steinke, a new mother with a career who says she struggles to maintain both roles.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> now to our series, "doing it all." only 1 in 5 families in america today fall into the traditional model of the male breadwinner and the female homemaker. two-thirds of women are working moms and many are breadwinners of their family. maria shriver launches the shriver report, a ground breaking examination of the transformations impacting families across the nation. and maria's here along with erica , a new mom who is struggling to balance career and family. and nicole williams a career expert for linkedin. great to have you here.

>> thanks for having us.

>> we ask people, our viewers, to send us their tweets. and boy, did they respond, e-mails and tweets by the hundreds.

>> well, women like erica responded because people need help doing it all. they're being told to reach for the glass ceiling , to go for it. and what they're responding is we don't have a foundation to stand on and that's the kind of help erica needs.

>> you wrote into us on e-mail and said i'm one of those working moms. had a 6 month old, why did you write?

>> well, i wrote in because like a lot of moms, once i got back from maternity leave, i was exhausted. commuting two hours a day, working 40 hours a week and really struggling to just get, you know, my husband and i making dinner every night, exercising and taking care of the baby. and it just felt like a lot. and when you add into that breast-feeding, pumping, i was really struggling with how am i supposed to keep going in my career? this career i've worked so hard for?

>> yeah.

>> so that's why --

>> you hear the cooing in the background. along with your husband here in our studio, as well. let me bring you into this conversation. as we heard the struggles erica 's dealing with, what a lot of moms are dealing with. the guilt going on at home, peopling like you're not there. but at the same time, you are striving for that. how do you do it all?

>> i think for the most part, you are doing it all. and i think a lot of women have difficulty promoting themselves and taking credit for the all that they're doing. so from a professional perspective, i really encourage women to take credit for the work they're doing, share credit with their team, with their colleagues. if you get a great note from a client or from, you know, a customer, forward that on. share your successes. use social media to let people know how great you're doing in your job so that, you know, it's not taken for granted.

>> one of the things in the shriver report we found out is when women like you go to your supervisor and you find a supervisor, that helps you in your job.

>> yeah. absolutely. my company went above and beyond what's required by law in terms of pumping in the workplace. and so that really helped me to be able to reach my goal of six months. unfortunately, a lot of women in this country, though, don't -- aren't covered by those pumping laws. and you featured something yesterday about a woman who had to pump, you know, on a dirty locker room floor. and we need to have stronger laws and support women who are really trying to just feed their babies.

>> right. well, it's a great conversation. clearly, we're just getting started. you've got more coming up all week long and on wednesday, you'll be digitally connecting with women who can send all their e-mails and keep the questions coming. it's a digital helpathon. send us your questions using the #doingitall. go to our website for more details on that. thanks to you all ladies. and we're back in a moment. this is "today" on