Bravo, Fox News. Three words I never ever thought my fingers would type, but I'll say it again: BRAVO, FOX NEWS. The network just announced that it's promoting anchor Ainsley Earhardt—while she's on maternity leave with her new daughter Hayden. When the 39 year old returns to the network on Feb. she'll take over from Elisabeth Hasselbeck as co-host of the top-rated Fox & Friends. Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes praised Earhardt's "relentless work ethic, congeniality, and enthusiasm."
Sure, it's a great PR move for the network, especially in an election year when family leave policies are front and center on the debate stage, but Earhardt's promotion sends a deeper message: Parental leave is not a break or a slow-down—it's but a blip in a larger career that will continue to grow.
Years ago, a colleague I looked up to who was about two years ahead of me on the having-babies track was promoted when she was 8 months pregnant.
Here's what that cost the company:
- eh, a couple of months of increased salary while she was on leave.
Here's what the company gained:
- a motivated, valued employee who came back happy, and,
- countless other future-mama employees like me who saw that if they stayed and worked hard, motherhood would never be penalized.