The Importance of Mothers In The Workplace
Mothers in the Workplace
“I believe that women should live for love, for motherhood, and for intellect, and I believe we shouldn’t have to choose. And I believe that’s always been difficult for women, to express themselves intellectually, maternally, and passionately.” — Erica Jong
Skillful parenting is still sadly underrated. Being a “good mother” is an amazing training ground for the best kind of leaders: present, empathic, instinctive, strong, etc. I often tell recent mothers that they are now more qualified than most: the skills you develop while raising a family (all on very little sleep) contribute to a work environment in the best way.
In many studies done on the workplace, mothers show a marked ability to deal with stress, prioritize, trust their instincts and manage multiple projects over their non-parenting counterparts. The capacity holding of multiple roles in women has been shown to lead to greater life satisfaction and higher emotional intelligence. So you’ve got this whole segment of the population that has been proven to have the right skills, handle workplace stressors better, and who end up being more satisfied as a result. So, hiring moms should be a no-brainer, right?
Not the case.
Most companies discriminate against mothers, and studies show that fathers in similar caregiving situations are rewarded for the same things that mothers are punished for. Moms experience lower pay, less advancement, a distinct increase in workplace incivility.
The scope of the problem is wider than motherhood, of course, the issue of gender inequality is global in scope. The United Nations has named gender equality in its list of global goals at number five, ranking above clean water and sanitation as a global need.
What can we do? Lets plug 50/50 day!!! 50/50 Day is on May 10th, 2017. The plan is for people to come together ‘anywhere people already gather’ according to the website (here) in a conversation about getting equality into our businesses, politics, culture, and homes. The site has details about events in your area as well as digital events you can participate in from anywhere you happen to be.
I’ve always loved this quote from Jack Kerouac —
“My mother once said the world would never find peace until men fell at their women’s feet and asked for forgiveness. This is true all over the world in the jungles of Mexico, in the back streets of Shang Hai, in New York cocktail bars, husbands are getting drunk while the women stay home with the babes of their ever darkening future. If these men stop the machine and come home and get on their knees and ask for forgiveness and the women bless them peace will suddenly descend on the earth with a great silence like the inherent silence of the apocalypse.”
To all the magnificence of mothers and women everywhere…Happy Mother’s Day, friends. XO, Susan