The only alternative for a professional mom is to have a partner at home to share the child raising and housekeeping. A lot can be contracted; even discriminatory pay in a prick job is generous if not equal. But the quality time with partner and children can not be delegated, so some compromises on the job are necessary. Note that in many cases the partner is employed in some cases in a well-paid prick job, but even parent males in prick jobs face discrimination that limits both their income and opportunity for "success." Being unable to spend the off-work networking time fucking around with the guys is a serious professional handicap for any parent. Even at conventions fucking around time is limited as a responsible parent still must read bedtime stories and deal with relationship issues for their children. Not to mention providing loving support for their parenting partner who for the time being is mom regardless of gender. A sick kid can even cut into booth time at a convention. Or in one case board meeting time in the home office.
Once reliable contraception became common, and it became possible for women with the cooperation of their partners to choose not to accept the traditional role of barefoot and pregnant homemakers without giving up either sex or children. "Family planning" with 2 to 4 well-spaced children became a desirable life style among the non-religious and some religious families which gave women time to be active in their communities and freed men from the rat race of having to provide a desired life style and opportunity for too many children. For the first time a middle class family could afford to have all their children aspire to higher education and for the woman to seek opportunities outside the home after the youngest was in school.
A few women were able to plan their lives around professional careers with or without children. Those that planned professional careers with children knew that their partner would have to provide significant support mainly at home and that both would have to take the career hit that homemaking with children entailed.
The following is a story of one such woman. It is not atypical, it is just one I know well. By the time she entered high school in the 50's she knew that she was going to be a professional biologist. She took all the STEM courses, one of the few women in the classes in high school and took her transcript to one of the most respected biology departments in the area and was admitted instantly.
She dated normally, sex was not normally part of the dating scene at the time, but people were pairing off with the women seeking the Mrs. asap with a man with good potential as a provider with sex as the hook.
The biologist was different, her date relatively early in the usual courtship rituals knew that sex was a distant dream. This selected out most of the traditional menfolk, but did attract a certain group who were attracted to her mind and aspirations rather than her vagina.
One such man met her after freeing himself of all female obligations in order to attend a prestigious distant University, and they bonded quickly but loosely. The intellectual/aspirational bond was maintained by mail and phone, and occasional vacation partying, but was still non-exclusive. Both dated normally for their peer group but the sex hook was dodged by both. Neither found a partner that shared their aspirations for a high achieving couple with children.
She graduated college a year after he had started his desired career path in chemistry, and could support her in her master's degree at a local State college. Plans evolved and both found themselves at the door of the financial aid officer at a prestigious university that advertised that admissions were need independent and that support would be provided for all admitted. The FAO explained that the way it was done was that the woman worked while the man got the MBA, then he supported her on her PhD program to which she was admitted. This put the first kid 6 or 8 years off and the horny man lit into the FAO and said we are both starting in the fall, how are you going to get it paid for. He delivered and the couple spent two years in abject poverty, to fit into the meager resources found. The shared goals kept them going, and the newly minted MBA left for a prestigious job on the other coast, while she finished the residence requirements for the PhD. She finished the masters and the PhD at a local university, while he finished his management rotation training assignments.
He requested a transfer to a major metropolitan area with a rich source of opportunity for her as his first real assignment. His first mistake as the company had other plans. He was told it was a stupid move as manufacturing was much more prestigious in the company than marketing. But privilege has its privilege and the transfer was arranged. The first mistake of many. She took a position far below her qualifications both in pay and prestige in a notoriously misogynistic occupation, but kept her head above water simply by being better than her male colleagues. As she frequently quoted being better than the average man is not difficult.
As time went on he was wrapping up a time consuming but extremely successful project and her first grant was on the books and the time was right for the next phase of their project: reproduction. The feminists and the powers at her work were aghast as the implied bargain was no children. She didn't notice and started her next grant that was due about the same time as the child. As her office was near the O.B. department she went in to work as usual prior to the planned induction at 2 in the afternoon. She took the next 10 days off to work out the details of newborn care with her partner. The grant went in on time, was approved in her name, and a long overdue promotion to her proper academic status followed quickly.
The next major event was an executive BBQ to vet the man for a major promotion earned by the successful project and not incidentally to see if his wife would fit into the paternalistic company's executive wife support group. She was at a conference that weekend present her results. When this was made known to the responsible exec, the man was told that his wife should just cancel the presentation and come to the BBQ, it was that important. It had been obvious for some time that she would never fit in the paternalistic social milieu created by the company at the headquarters city, so the conference went on, the man was disinvited from the BBQ and all talk of promotions ceased. It is probably significant to note that two of his superiors and their wives rode the project to the presidency of the company. He began to look for other opportunities.
A new job for him, a promotion and a bit more money for her, a new kid on the floor, and life went on. Promotions for both, an injured kid dragged him out of a board meeting, but mom out of town raised no eyebrows, he neglected to mention it was a major scientific conference so there was no pushback. The company was failing anyway so it was back to the job market for him. The only opportunities in grade and in industry were out of town so another career change was indicated. It is always interesting backing a successful career mom.
There are many more interesting similar stories of interest only to the participants.
The takeaway is that neither achieved the success that a married prick would have in the same job with or without children. The only reason she could do as well as she did with children was that the career hit was unequally shared by the privileged male. Maybe she would have done better as a childless prick, but the cultural handicaps remain for all women regardless of the noise feminists make about irrelevant issues. The possibility of pregnancy cannot be ignored by employers in spite of denialism by feminists.