Laura Wade Gery is having a baby. How inspiring for women all around the nation that one of our top female executives is becoming a mother. Another key member of the M&S team, Belinda Earl was the first FTSE company CEO to take maternity leave when she ran Debenhams back in 2001.
Good on M&S, for having two such brilliant role models in leadership positions.
What is perhaps sad is that this is such big news. We didn't worry about the country collapsing when Samantha Cameron had a baby at Number 10.
Women balance motherhood and careers all the time. Men are undoubtedly taking more equal parenting roles too supported by new legislation and flexibility on paternity leave.
This is news because Laura Wade Gery is so brilliantly senior. While many women in senior positions quietly balance work and family life, there is still a notion that we need to seek permission to be so bold as to actually have a baby, recover and bond with our children in a brief 4 month baby moon away from the office.
Away from the office doesn't even need to mean absent. Tiny babies sleep a lot, even if you don't. Becoming a mother makes you a ninja juggler and in reality, for senior women this might start on maternity leave.
Laura Wade Gery's news won't become commonplace until there are more women in top positions. Whatever gender her new baby is, I am certain Laura Wade Gery will show them the path to achieving their highest potential in all areas of life.
Meanwhile, i'm planning to check out M&S's baby department as this will only be improving over the next year as the experiences of M&S's leaders bring them closer to their customers and better fulfilling their needs.
Marks & Spencer’s heir apparent is about to have her own heir apparent. Laura Wade-Gery, executive director of “multichannel” at the pants-to-Percy Pigs purveyor, is going on maternity leave in a fortnight. The 50-year-old is widely tipped to fill chief executive Marc Bolland’s sharp shoes when he eventually departs M&S, and will be taking around four months leave. Wade-Gery’s news provoked all the inevitable debates this morning. Is it possible to make it to the top and still have a happy family life? How much time should parents take out of work when they have a new child? And why is the impending motherhood of a female boss headline news in the way that a male boss’s impending fatherhood never would be?