How Employers Can Recruit (and Retain) Working Mothers
Rachael Ellison | MonsterThinking
As a career coach and organizational-development consultant working with many new parents, I hear the stories everyday from passionate, driven professionals: from a woman who can’t take a day off to be with her kids without the blackberry constantly buzzing; or from working mothers who hide on the floor of their offices, backs against the door, when it is time to pump.
There are stories of maternity leaves abruptly cut short, bosses suddenly finding new “problems” with their pregnant employee’s work and letting them go—and the lawsuits that followed. One woman got this sage wisdom from a senior partner: “If you want to succeed in this business you better have a nanny that can stay late.”
Many women feel they are forced to choose between their career aspirations and their roles as mothers, as if they can no longer be taken seriously in their fields with little ones at home. There is a perception among some employers that a woman who chooses to start a family is somehow a less committed professional than her male counterparts or women who don’t have children.
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The woman who chooses to start a family is seen as having divided loyalty between her personal and professional life. She may be seen as a transient member of the team, someone who is not worth the same investment.
It doesn’t have to be this way. With adjustments to organizational policies and culture, we can close the gap between the professional horizons of working mothers, working fathers, and their colleagues.