Gabrielle Union can be seen on one of three covers for the latest issue of Redbook magazine where she opens up about the double standards she faces for being over 40 and without children, as well as the issues Black women face in the corporate world.
Union — who, with basketball star husband Dwyane Wade is one-half of PeopleStyle’s best-dressed couple — says that while she and her husband are a great team, she does occasionally notice their nearly 10-year age difference.
“His teammates, were conceived when I was, like, a senior in high school. I was in high school at the same time as their parents!” she says. “Sometimes he’ll be like, ‘Oh, my God, he’s so old!’ about someone who’s 35. But, Dwyane’s an old 33, and I’m a young 42, so it balances out.”
There’s also the issue of starting a family together. “So far, it has not happened for us. A lot of my friends deal with this,” she explains. “There’s a certain amount of shame that is placed on women who have perhaps chosen a career over starting a family younger. The penance for being a career woman is barrenness. You feel like you’re wearing a scarlet letter.”
And on top of that, IVF and a potential baby present their own set of challenges.
“The reality is that women are discriminated against in the workplace for being mothers. As much as there are strides being made — you get pregnant, your career takes a hit,” she says. “You can’t have a bad day. Don’t you dare cry at work. Don’t raise your voice. Especially if you’re a black woman in corporate America — now you’re ‘the angry black woman.’”