The Longest Shortest Time

EPISODE #141: It’s a Real Mother, Part 1: Governor Mom

Today we launch our big ol’ series on working moms
Why spend four episodes on working moms? Because they face a shit ton of discrimination in the workplace. More than dads. More than people without kids. You can follow the series and find resources for moms, dads β€” and, yes, non-parents at It’s a Real Mother.

We also hope you’ll use #itsarealmother to share your stories of discrimination β€” and share the video below, which we made with help from Michael Bierut’s incredible team at Pentagram.

 
We kick off our series with Jane Swift
Jane’s political career began when she was young β€” just 25 years old. She was a rising star in the Republican party, running for state senate in Western Massachusetts. On her first press tour, a reporter asked her if she had a boyfriend. He followed that with a question male politicians never hear: If you get married and start a family, what will that mean for your career?

Jane was taken aback. She wasn’t married. And the idea of motherhood felt very far away.

Jane campaigning for her first state senate seat in 1990.

Jane wound up winning that state senate seat. She later became the first female Governor of Massachusetts. And… while she was at it, she became the thing that nosy reporter had been so concerned about during her state senate run: a working mom. In fact, Jane was the first Governor ever to give birth while in office.

Jane as Lieutenant Governor, pregnant with twins.

Jane and her twin daughters.

Tune in to hear what it’s like when discrimination doesn’t come from your boss… but the voting public. Plus, YOUR stories of workplace discrimination. Hint: try and find a place to pump when your office is full of dead animals!

Jane pregnant: Michael Dwyer/AP, courtesy of Jane Swift; Special thanks to the University of Massachusetts Amherst Department of Special Collections and University Archives and Aaron Rubinstein.