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Matt Lauer defends asking GM CEO Mary Barra about motherhood during 'Today' interview

By Daniel S Levine,

There are hundreds of questions Today Show anchor Matt Lauer could have asked General Motors CEO Mary Barra about the millions of recalled vehicles. However, he included a question about motherhood and has found himself under fire for it.

During the interview, Barra did discuss the recalled vehicles and having to deal with controversy just months into her tenure. But it was that one question about balancing being a mother and having a family with leading one of the nation’s top companies that got viewers riled up.

In a post on his Facebook page, Lauer defended the question, saying that it was not meant to be seen as sexist. In fact, had the GM CEO been a man, he claims he would have asked the same question. Lauer also said that Barra brought up the challenges of having a family and working in her recent Forbes interview, which he referenced.

In that Forbes interview, Barra said she felt bad that she missed her son’s junior prom. “Given the pressure at General Motors, can you do both (jobs) well?” Lauer asked her.

“This is one of the major conversations of our generation,” Lauer told the Associated Press later. “I view it very differently. I view it not as a gender issue, but as a work-life balance issue.”

GM has been forced to recall millions of vehicles since the company first recalled small cars with faulty ignition switches. Barra said there could be even more recalls, as the company tries to clean its tarnished image.

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image courtesy of Jennifer Graylock/INFphoto.com

 
 

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