When we become mothers for the first (or even third time) one of our biggest fears is the demise of our ‘professional brand’. Following the birth of my children I felt the need to return to my pre-baby role where I left off; as if nothing had changed. For the most part, working women fall into two general categories: either, like me, new mothers rush to return to the workplace and back to their familiar corporate persona (while privately struggling with our “mum guilt”) or they feel that they no longer fit in, and decide not to return to the workforce at all.
For years organisations have just accepted that women generally fall into one of these two categories. However, recently there has been a growing awareness that losing the talent you’ve cherry picked and nurtured is not a great way to manage and not great for business. In my experience, most managers want to do the right thing and support new mothers but they’re so often paranoid about saying the wrong thing that they either say nothing at all or completely put their foot in it.
In celebration of working mothers (and fathers) and mothers-to-be, here are 3 advantages of continued employment:
We Multitask Like Ninjas
I often wonder what I did with my time prior to having my children…When I thought I was busy. When you have time limitations there is minimal time for procrastination; instead we become laser focused and committed to output. Generally, we are able to recite the schedules of several people all while managing the emotions and expectations of ourselves and our team. Our productivity increases to ensure that we are delivering on deadlines and exceeding client expectations, all while ensuring we leave by 5:00pm for child pick up.
“Baby brain” is actually a thing
While many of us are aware of the negative connotations associated with the term “Baby Brain” research has actually shown that pregnancy increases activity in the right side of the brain, the area related to emotional skills as they prepare to bond with their babies. This newly found intuition can be transitioned into the workplace. As women, we are known for our ability to create tight-knit, loyal teams by listening to our team, nurturing their ideas and leading through collaboration.
You’re basically a Superhero
All births are challenging, some just test us more than others. The first couple of weeks and months will stretch even the strongest woman’s self-esteem, beliefs and ego. Your new baby doesn’t care that you’re the CEO, that you secured a million dollar deal last month or that several important people rely on you to get their jobs done. We learn to dig deep and carry on in the most trying circumstances.
Furthermore, news just keeps getting better. Do you know our significant others have an emotional response that is just as powerful as ours. By taking on the primary care role for the same period typically associated with women, they too could return with these super-powers.
Businesses have a huge opportunity to openly engage women (and men) returning to the organisation. Organisations with more women leaders are shown to be more profitable so let’s harness this natural resource to ensure we are as welcome at the boardroom table as we are at the changing table.
If you are not sure where to start or if you would like further information engaging working parents – we can help. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org.