By the time I saw this post, it already had over 1,000 likes and it had been shared probably over 20 times. It was a post written by a recruiter, and he was really advocating and supporting the hiring of working moms. I mean, it was a man who wrote it, and he wrote it so beautifully. It was truly a post that warranted having all of these likes and shares.
I was reading through the comments, many of which were women; working moms that were expressing sentiments of hallelujah and celebration. And yet all I could think about is, if this is what we’re celebrating, that working moms are amazing employees – and I will say working moms are amazing leaders – if this is what we’re celebrating, why the hell don’t we talk about it in the office?
Keeping their personal experiences (I’m not going to say personal life, I’m going to say their personal experiences) so segregated outside of the business world. When in fact, what you do as a working mom and as a leader, those experiences as a mom transition perfectly into the workforce. The skillset that you need for intuition, patience! Oh, the patience required to be a parent. Having that patience, being able to teach and train and guide; all of those skills are what you need as a leader.
If you can start to talk about some of how you do that as a parent, as a mom, then your team members who are aspiring leaders will actually have something concrete to identify with. They’ll start to see, “Oh, you as a leader, as a mom, are really patient. I see that as a leader that’s important, and that’s a skill set I need to work on.” It gives them something really tangible that they can see. In addition, I talk all the time about how leaders need to lead with humanity; treat your employees as human beings.
Well guess what? Oftentimes your employees, your team members, they don’t see you as a human being; you seem almost like this, untouchable being. Like everything’s always been perfect for you, nothing bothers you; you’re kind of up on this pedestal. Well, if you start to open up and share about some of the struggles in your personal life, again, notably about struggles of being a parent, then they will start to see the humanity in you.
They will see a level of authenticity and some vulnerability that you’re revealing to them. So yes, let’s celebrate that working moms are amazing, but let’s not end the conversation there! For those of you that are women leaders, especially who are also moms, you need to start talking about this, in an appropriate way, in the workforce. Do not segregate those personal experiences, because they absolutely make a difference, and make you an even more exceptional leader in the business place.