Working mothers face challenges.
It’s nice to celebrate mothers with flowers and chocolates one day a year. The most important celebration, however, could be recognizing and recognizing the challenges that working mothers face and contributing to the conditions for the success of their work and life. The pandemic has hit women and their careers particularly hard, especially women with children. However, there are ways to be responsive and have a positive impact on maternal success, happiness, and fulfillment.
Ironically, Mother’s Day has its roots in a time of devastating health crisis. Honoring Mothers Day began in the early 1900s and was originally considered a collective celebration for communities of women rather than a celebration of individual mothers within families. Large numbers of children regularly died from epidemics. So the original idea was to bring mothers together and educate them about hygiene and proactive health measures – in one day for mothers. Today, the health crisis is also having a huge impact on communities and mothers.
In fact, many women resign or lose their jobs. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that women’s participation in the labor market is the lowest in 30 years and that women’s unemployment has increased 2.9% more than that of men. According to a study by Indeed, 29% of women cut their working hours during the pandemic and 9% left the job market entirely. A study by Visier found that 42% of women with children were considering leaving the workforce and 52% were considering dropping out.
LaFawn Davis, in fact vice president of the environmental, social and governance group, shared her experiences as a woman in leadership positions and as a mother. “We had to make choices between our families, our caring responsibilities, and our work,” she says. The most pessimistic predictions suggest that this could be the end of the working mother – and it will be impossible for mothers to revert to their previous work status until schools and childcare come back to full strength.
One of the main perks of work is the social support and networks we create. Unfortunately, in fact, those who no longer work full-time have found their relationships deteriorating – in their personal life and in their community: 55% of women report a weaker support system compared to 35% who still work full-time work.
Unsurprisingly, women who leave the workforce are 26% more likely to have children and 67% more likely to be primary caregivers. In addition, a study at Washington University in St. Louis found that mothers ‘working hours fell four to five times as much as fathers’ hours.
But when mothers work, the challenges are substantial. And while there are many benefits to work – financial rewards, meaning, community, and sense of contribution – it is not for the faint of heart. These are some of the challenges that define the conditions for working mothers:
Mothers work – a lot
Classical sociological literature describes the “second shift” in which women finish their full-time paid workday and then work on family and domestic duties. Recent research at the University of Pennsylvania found that mothers were doing more of the chores at home, and a McKinsey study found that mothers were more than three times more likely to perform most housework and care needs during the pandemic. A study by Visier found that 70% of full-time women do all or most of the care in their home.
When we envision a working mom, we’re probably most likely to envision young children and diapers, but for most women, care covers all ages and stages. Davis says, “Moths don’t stop when they grow up, and there are duties of care women have for not just their children, but also for an aging parent or a sick spouse. Care has risen to the top with women, not just women with young children. “
Mothers face burnout and professional impact
Working mothers also face challenges related to their mental health and careers. According to the McKinsey study, more women than men report exhaustion, burnout and the pressure to work harder. Additionally, a study by My Perfect Resume found that 75% of women – compared with 59% of men – felt that their employer expected them to always be on. A study by FlexJobs found that 40% were unable to unplug or worked more than they expected.
Indeed’s study also reports that 70% of women said they did not get the support they needed from management. Those who were still at work were more likely to report patience, understanding and support from their companies and their managers.
In terms of professional contribution and success, the My Perfect Resume study found that 43% of women – compared with 30% of men – said they couldn’t give everything at work because they had difficulty getting into work and parenting To bring harmony. And Indeed’s research found that 76% of women who worked fewer hours said their job performance was slowing.
Working mothers also face “maternal bias” – the conscious or subconscious belief that a working mother cannot be effective at both work and motherhood. A study by the University of Michigan found it to be a trend shared by and in relation to all genders (commonly referred to as the “ideal worker norm” for parents) and widespread. When a mother is brilliantly successful at work, people wonder how she is able to perform so well and be effective at home too. Or, if a mom is a great parent, people may assume that she isn’t doing great at work. This tendency can be undermined and disempowered.
How mothers can react
Mothers can respond effectively to these challenges by practicing self-care, setting boundaries, and sharing their needs with their employers, partners, or their support network. They can also be open with their children about their struggles. Davis says, “Being more honest with our children helps them understand how to be empowered and how to deal with it.” Davis says it is also wise to delegate and empower others. When team members are empowered at work, the stress on everyone is reduced, and when children help themselves at home, the otherwise overwhelming demands are also reduced.
Mothers can also respond by reevaluating the expectations they have of themselves. Children don’t look for perfect mothers, just mothers they love very much. I am a proponent of identifying your “mother tongue”. Think about what is most important to you as a mother and how you (in a unique way) do your best mothering work. Baking cookies or preparing good meals may be important to some mothers, but it doesn’t have to be the definition of good motherhood for everyone. For example, your mother tongue can have breakfast with your children and talk to them about the expectations for their day. Or your mother tongue will drive your children to school if you are able to socialize and review their experiences. The key idea is to prioritize activities and do the ones that matter most to you, your children, and your family – rather than trying to do everything.
How companies and executives can react
Companies also have a responsibility to their employees who are parents. First, they should measure, track and develop the knowledge of their workforce so that they can contribute to successful conditions for mothers. This means knowing workforce demographics, understanding hiring and promotion statistics, and using data to make informed decisions. Davis believes these metrics are key: “To really attract [and support mothers, companies] must have an understanding of the specific needs of their workforce. “
Based on data, companies should ensure that their policies and cultures support working mothers. Davis says, “Companies should take a step back and establish guidelines and make sure there is a corporate culture that works for working mothers and caregivers. Really look at what … employees need because their employees are their greatest asset. “Davis advocates that companies develop solutions that are both innovative and transformative to attract and retain working mothers.
Managers should also try to be attentive and empathetic. Davis says, “A empathetic manager and a empathetic culture … actually creates the space for women to make the decisions they need to be successful in every aspect of their lives.” This affects culture as a whole and everyone Employees, not just mothers. “[This sets a tone] for culture and the environment for your entire workforce. Everyone will feel whether they are a parent or not [making for] a better workforce where people can feel they belong. “
Motherhood is sacred and the saying goes: “The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.” It is important that we support mothers because they make such a huge contribution through their work and to children, families and communities. Women and mothers have been injured in the pandemic, but we can find our way back. By prioritizing mothers and making conscious efforts to create better conditions for their success, we pave the way for the success of all of our communities.
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