Someone once said, “If you want something done, give it to the busiest person." Working moms beware! Whether you see them in the office or working remotely, full-time or freelancing, working mothers are busy balancing their careers with the responsibilities of raising children. And, they’re doing so at a much higher rate than before. According to the US Department of Labor, nearly 70% of mothers with children under the age of 18 participate in the workforce, up from about 47% in the 1970s.
This Mother’s Day, we are thinking of all the working mothers and the unique gifts they bring to workplaces and teams everywhere. We reached out to employers and employees and here are 5 things we learned about how mothers make amazing employees, leaders, entrepreneurs, and bosses:
#1 – Productivity and Efficiency
Working mothers often find new ways to be efficient despite the many demands for their time. Lisetta Chalupiak, a working mother of five, summed up the unique challenge that working mothers face. “Working moms are organized, focused, and know how to multi-task and deal with rotating and fluctuating priorities.”
Many working women find that being a mom has also made them more productive. Rachel D. Jaffe, Esq., SVP and Counsel at OneTitle National Guaranty Company, Inc., shares her experience. “Motherhood - more than any other job I have ever had - has honed my productivity skills. Since shifting to a compressed work schedule, I am much more efficient. It has increased my work output, shortened the amount of time it takes me to respond to clients, and forced me to squeeze out time-sucking activities like social media.”
“My pre-children self,” she concludes, “was a hard worker, but not nearly as an efficient one.”
#2 - Flexibility
To be successful in today’s fast paced business world - flexibility is key. As it turns out, moms are the epitome of flexibility when dealing with curveballs in and out of the workplace.
As Terra Vicario, the CMO of Viventium.com, puts it, “Kids go through phases, and moms constantly have to adjust. When you are a mom, you learn how to accept these phases, adapt quickly, and nurture your child along the way without hesitation. You can apply the same skills to any phase of business or challenge happening within the workplace.”
Working mothers also seem to have a knack for understanding when others – coworkers, direct reports – also require flexibility for their own work-life balance. Jessica Ochoa Hendrix, Co-founder of Killer Snails, remarked, "My co-founders and I have a total of five children all under nine years old. We each understand the need for flexible schedules.”
#3 - Relationship Building
Many would agree that every business is a relationship business, and moms rank high in bringing people together in unique ways. Moms may be the ultimate connectors, peacekeepers, negotiators, and supporters in the workplace.
Myla Allen, a Talent Acquisition Specialist at IU Health, says, "As a mom, I feel that we are great relationship builders in the workplace because it’s our nature to establish trust, listening, and empathy."
Cynthia Alfaro, another working mom, agrees. “Just the way a mom is gifted at keeping a house happy, the same goes for work. I check in with co-workers, offer giggles when needed, and am a cheerleader for others and their work.”
#4 - Entrepreneurship
Whether it's making a last minute costume for school or inspiring their child to practice violin for a bit longer - moms know how to bring resourcefulness and innovative spirit wherever they go.
Crystal Huang, CEO of Prosky.co, believes that, “Moms can make the best entrepreneurs. As a mom, you are already an expert in crisis management and juggling multiple schedules and tasks, and using those skills comes second nature to most moms in the workplace.” As a result, she adds, “Mom founders and entrepreneurs bring a different yet positive balance to their organization.”
A working mom herself, Huang understands the challenge of running a business and raising children. “As a female entrepreneur and mom, I take measures to ensure every task I'm working on is contributing to the success of my company so that when I need to spend time with my kids, I can have the quality time I need with them.”
#5 - Perseverance
Companies value employees who are creative problem solvers and can get important deliverables to the finish line. Every day of every year, working mothers persevere and do their best to successfully manage a career and raise a family. As Lori Mayer-Dunning describes, “Successful mothers are the ones who never give up, despite the struggles."
Women – and working mothers in particular – still face many challenges in the workplace. However, despite the stresses of trying to achieve work-life balance and seeking fair pay and promotion opportunities, working mothers stick it out, many times for reasons beyond their own ambitions.
As Summer Poletti, a sales executive, describes, “One of the reasons I love working with mothers is that having mouths to feed, new shoes to buy, and college savings to fund, is a very important ‘why.’ And, if someone can handle a toddler or a teenager, there's nothing the business world can throw at them that they can't manage.”
We received so many amazing stories from the working moms, dads, and everyone else! To all the wonderful folks who shared their stories with us, we thank you!
This Mother’s Day, we especially thank working moms for all that they do, and for making the world a better place, at home and at work.
Do you have a working mom at your workplace? Stop by to share your thanks for her awesomeness :)