Net-A-Porter Founder Says Women Can Be Mums & Moguls...But It's Not Easy

From the widely discussed Anne-Marie Slaughter article, "Why Women Still Can't Have It All," to the heated discussion around Sheryl Sandberg's book to Beyoncé claim that women are "strong enough to bear the children, then get back to business," the conversation around "having it all" has surfaced repeatedly in recent months. The latest instance? At this weekend's Vogue festival, Net-a-Porter founder Natalie Massenet spoke candidly about the reality of building a business from scratch while raising a family, "People always ask, is it hard being an entrepreneur and a mom? The answer is yes!".
At the event, Massenet reveals the full extent of the trials and tribulations she went through during the brand's inception, "I was pregnant when we started the business and Isabella was born during our first round of fundraising and moving into our first office. Somehow the thrill of building a little human being from scratch filled me with the delusion that I could also create a company! Oddly it did not detract from people wanting to invest in the business or partner with us...I think they must have thought I was made of steel (but I'm not!). Isabella came with me to the office when she was four days old so that we could carry on with the investor meetings...what a shock. I don't recommend it to anyone. But, in hindsight, being naive was a plus. I loved this little girl so much and couldn't wait to be with her every hour I wasn't in the office. Similarly, the business captivated me beyond my imagination. Having the two simultaneously somehow balanced me. And my priorities were quickly defined: Family and business. Home and office. Head and heart. All the rest had to go."
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Regardless of what Massenet says about the occupational hazards of attempting both business and baby, her actions speak louder than her words. She managed to create a £350 million business and raise two children. For that we salute her. (Instagram)
NatMass
Photo: Via Vogue
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