Meredith Vieira has found that being a working woman cuts both ways, says Amy Larocca in More. When she was starting out, the journalist found that her pretty face led to a rapid rise from radio to local TV to the network. “I had a lot of opportunities back then because of my gender. Beyond a doubt, it helped me, and I was told that.” Vieira parlayed that exposure into a job at CBS News and 60 Minutes. But in 1991, after giving birth to her son, she quit the show because executive producer Don Hewitt wouldn’t allow her to continue the scaled-back schedule she’d negotiated for her pregnancy. “Don was saying, ‘What did she ever do, anyhow?’ Nobody had been critical of my work, and I won an Emmy, so I felt like I was delivering. But I like to do my work and go home.” For putting her husband and children ahead of her career, Vieira was branded a traitor by some feminists. “At a party I was cornered by a woman who said, ‘You cannot do this! You’re going to set us back so far!’ And I thought, I’m not the standard-bearer here. For me the message is, get in touch with who you are, with what you want, and try to shape everything else around that. None of us should be the figureheads for everybody else.”
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