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Kids Hone Soft Skills - Put Working Moms in the C-Suite

Ditch Outdated Bias, Advance More Moms into Leadership

The modern workplace remains full of antiquated attitudes that continue to hold women, especially working mothers, back from advancing into leadership positions. Despite rising education levels and ambition, systemic biases against mothers persist in subtle yet damaging ways. It's time we re-evaluate these outdated assumptions and start celebrating the incredible value working moms provide both at home and on the job.

working mothers

Far too often, the moment a woman becomes pregnant she is viewed as less committed to her career. Her priorities are seen as shifted away from professional advancement in favour of child-rearing. The reality could not be further from the truth. Working mothers remain just as dedicated, if not more, to performing well in their occupations; they simply have more balls to juggle on top of a full-time job. From doctor's appointments to childcare logistics to keeping tiny humans alive, working moms take on a "second shift" at home that fathers rarely face to the same degree for simple biological reasons, even when they are extremely devoted and hands-on.

This double standard stems from outdated gender stereotypes. Society still primarily associates breadwinning with masculinity and caregiving as a feminine role. So, when men act as providers and women act as nurturers, traditional norms stay intact. But working mothers blending both responsibilities disrupt obsolete gender binaries. And sadly, rather than adjusting those old-fashioned assumptions, working moms pay the price through unfair criticism and limited career mobility unless organisational cultures evolve.


We should be praising women’s incredible time management skills rather than questioning their competence.


In addition to unfair assumptions about their commitment, working mothers also face harsh judgment when they do climb the ranks into leadership positions. They're often seen as cold, ambitious or self-centred for pursuing promotions or senior level jobs that keep them away from their children. They face a persistent stigma that they are putting their careers before their families.


The prejudice does not stop there. Women are often hit with intrusive personal questions about their family plans - queries about when they plan to have children or how they plan to manage parenting with work. Asking females alone about handling childcare responsibilities would never be tolerated as appropriate workplace behaviour toward any protected class. Yet working moms endure this insensitive line of questioning constantly, leaving them feeling defensive before they've even officially taken on a leadership role.


Why must women constantly choose between being viewed as good mothers or competent professionals?


Frankly, the obstacles mothers face trying to grow their careers while nurturing families requires a level of strategic thinking few male executives can comprehend. Moms considering leadership posts must meticulously map out childcare options, household responsibilities, school schedules and backup caretakers years in advance - all while delivering standout performance in hopes of being considered for promotion in the first place. The complex mental labour working mothers invest strategising sustainable work-life integration would exhaust most people. We should acknowledge this invisible burden by accommodating mothers' planning needs around meetings, travel and working hours.


The very traits that cause society to criticise working mothers also make them tremendously effective leaders. The multitasking required of working moms enables them to naturally juggle competing priorities - an invaluable executive skill. Having children builds compassion and emotional intelligence - two soft skills essential for motivating and supporting employees. Mothers gain tremendous efficiency managing households - practice that keeps offices productive. Simply put, the "weaknesses" women feel self-conscious about as mothers are the organisational strengths advancing them on the job. Directors that better understand this could greatly improve their talent pipeline into leadership by advancing more working moms.


The strengths of motherhood belong at the head of the table


If we want gender equality both at home and in the workplace, we owe mothers far more credit. We need to stop questioning their commitment when they leave work to pick up kids or take time off to nurse illnesses. We must enable flexitime, job sharing, extended leave policies, remote work and other options to empower them to blend thriving careers with growing families. And senior executives should recognise that by advancing more working moms into leadership positions, we send an inclusive message that attracts loyalty and elevates collaboration across the entire organisation.


The antiquated attitudes that hold women back due to motherhood reflect the lingering boys-club mentality of too many contemporary workplaces. But we have clear opportunities to shift that culture by first re-evaluating our own assumptions about working parents, making space for caregiving demands, and celebrating the multifaceted value working mothers deliver daily. Our economy depends upon enabling more women to participate. Our communities benefit from empowered female leaders. And our workplaces can transform for the better by recognising that mothers ultimately make the most effective directors.


Working moms deserve not just policies that support them but a culture that genuinely respects and celebrates them!

So, let's take intentional steps to make sure dedicated, high-performing moms have a seat at the leadership table. Actively recruiting mothers and making flexible arrangements shows we prize their perspective. Providing access to affordable childcare and remote work conveys trust in their capabilities balancing family and work. Celebrating promotions of working moms signals our belief in their potential at the highest levels. And rethinking outdated assumptions about family status demonstrates our commitment to modernising business culture. Honouring the indispensable contributions of working mothers uplifts women, unlocks innovation and upgrades every organisation!  

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1 Comment

I wholeheartedly agree. I hope society begins to respect the fact that women can be effective in the workforce and equally be a wonderful mother. This is a well written article with a balanced argument and an important discussion for today's modern day world. Thank you for writing an amazing article.

Dr Patricia

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