Last week a young working mom told me that she had been advised by her mentor to hide the fact that she was a mother when she started a new job. And it was one time TOO MANY for me.
Too many times I hear the same story:
❌ Don’t let anyone know your struggles as a working parent
❌ Solve your challenges quietly, privately
❌ Don’t talk about your kids
❌ Don’t take a family sick day or ask for a meeting to be rescheduled
Now don’t get me wrong, I know there is a price to pay for having ambitious goals. There has to be compromises. As CEO of a growing company, I must choose what I want the most on a daily basis - my social circle is small, weekends are mostly spent with family and resting, sometimes I drop the ball with my kids.
BUT, to hide my children is a price too high.
I am so incredibly proud to be the mother of 2 beautiful girls. I am grateful for the hard-earned skills I have developed over the past 15 years as a working mom and am convinced I can do my job better because of it. I also put my out of office notice on my email account when I take holiday, I block my agenda on Wednesday afternoons, and when I’m struggling to concentrate in a meeting because I’m worried about something that is going on at home, I tell my colleagues. I hold my boundaries AND I give it my all. It’s a give and take, and if a company doesn’t want to meet me in the middle, I don’t want to work there. I’m a package deal. And I’m not alone, other parents feel the same way.
It breaks my heart that young moms often feel they need to hide their children and that mentors think this is good advice.
If your company wants more women in leadership roles, then please look at the price you are asking mothers to pay to be there. And while we’re talking about it, I don’t think fathers want to pay this high price either.
What can employers do?
✅Offer management roles to part-time employees
✅Celebrate loudly when a new employee finds out they’re expecting a baby
✅Ask leaders to talk openly about how they combine work and family. We need more role models urgently.
✅Treat mothers and fathers equally, not only in benefits, but also how you talk to them, how you talk about them, and the opportunities you offer them!
Dear employer, there is an opportunity, today, to lead the way, to be different.
🏆 How would it feel to have the best gender diversity numbers in town?
🥇 How would it feel to be the place where parents want to work?
Author: Sarah Meier