What Managers Know and Don’t Know About Mothers in the Workplace

capacity caring guilt knowledge positivity prioritizing productivity research shame skills work-life Mar 02, 2022
Pregnant Mom working on a laptop

Ever been curious about how being a Mom impacts the workplace?

The preparation. The anticipation. The joy of giving birth to your first child.

The frustration. The fear. The overwhelm. The reality of motherhood.

This summarizes the transition that occurs for many working mothers as they prepare for the birth of their first child. Often our expectations don’t match the reality, especially in these big life events. Before the baby arrives, we have plenty of time to rest and prepare. We still have space for ourselves and we can connect to our identity that we have worked so hard to build through several years dedicated to our careers. But when they place that bundle of joy in your arms and you are overwhelmed with emotions and sleep deprivation, things look very different than what you may have expected. For many mothers returning to work can be challenging all in itself. How do you provide for the needs of the baby and still meet the demands of your job? The idea of some else experiencing the milestone moments while you work. The guilt that consumes you. It can be debilitating. The last thing that you need is an unsupportive manager. Someone who adds to the already present guilt and frustration. Recently, I was talking to a working mom who shared that her manager compared maternity leave to a vacation. How can people not comprehend the magnitude of motherhood? Unfortunately, this is more of the norm. Many managers, senior leaders, and executives feel that the work of a mother should be pushed aside, not discussed, and not considered when in a professional setting. I would like to challenge that thought process. The research is very clear toward the benefit of having moms in the workplace.

  1. Moms contribute to a positive work culture
    • Work environment is comprised of a multitude of factors. One negative employee can have a pretty big impact on the culture and productivity ion the workplace. Women in the workplace can counterbalance this downward trend. Some of the benefits of having moms in the workplace included stronger communication, fairness, collaboration and encouragement. A recent survey reported that 81% of employees felt their mom mangers were approachable. Simply working with peers and colleagues who are moms also makes a difference in workplace culture. Women with mom-colleagues report a 23% more positive overall workplace experience than those without mom-colleagues.
  2. Improves employee job satisfaction
    • In addition to enjoying the people you work with and for, enjoying your work and your overall experience in the workplace is equally as important. If our research tells us anything, it’s that if a company wants to improve employee job satisfaction then they would benefit from adding a few more moms to their leadership team.
    • Based on responses to a recent survey, mom-managers are favored 18% more for caring about and prioritizing their employees’ well-being than non-mom managers. Additionally, they’re rated 15% more favorably for fair treatment of employees and two-thirds of women employees say their mom-managers enhance overall team morality. Finally, women with mom-managers are more likely to report that their experience in their role exceeds their expectations of the job.
  3. Moms make a difference
    • Businesses can make a significant impact by simply investing in and retaining moms within the workplace. When working moms know their strengths both in the workplace and at home, the opportunities are endless. Its about time we change the narrative being played out for working moms. So, the next time your manager, boss, senior leader makes a comment around the negative impact of being a mom, remind them of the impact that working moms make. Let’s disrupt the negativity surrounding moms in the workplace.

* https://community.themomproject.com/the-study/moms-are-drivers-of-success-in-the-workplace

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