So...how are things going?
If you're a business leader or professional mother, perhaps not so well.
Professional working mothers are facing a seismic shift in their lives. The work/life integration challenges, both chronic and crisis, are happening in their families, careers, and workplaces and with their caregiving needs unlike anything experienced before.
While these work and family issues and conflicts have been present for many years, they're now front and center with the pandemic bringing it all into sharp focus. The uncertainties surrounding one issue alone - their children and school - are taking a tremendous toll, and the impact on the mental health/mental wellness of working parents cannot be overstated.
Professional working mothers in particular are making it clear...flexible work options, hybrid/remote work, caregiving supports and services, and targeted, robust benefits are their priorities. And where employers are either not recognizing or responding to these needs, they're speaking with their feet.
Companies and organizations are facing significant hiring and retention issues as the number of women in the workforce is at its lowest level since 1988. Progress for working mothers has been lost. And the talent drain for employers is significant.
So while the numbers may change, the realities do not.
Nearly 3 million women have left the workforce
since the start of
The "Great Resignation"
is leading employees
to search for
1 in 4 women are considering leaving the workforce or downsizing their careers
For business leaders and professional mothers,
the status quo is no longer.
You know the challenges.
For more than 25 years, my focus has been work/life integration. As a working mother, consultant, strategist, advisor, and speaker. And with a concurrent sub-specialty, advising and providing advocacy support to executives, entrepreneurs, senior leaders and working parents who have children with special education needs.
I understand the difficult choices working mothers face because I faced them myself. My job or my child. My career or
motherhood. The impact of this decision was far-reaching and continues to today. I've been there.
I understand the challenges facing business and human resource leaders too, as Founder/CEO of Education Navigation, LLC, a nationally-recognized employee benefits firm providing specialized caregiving services, supports, and programs for working parents with children from K-college graduation, Work/Family Management, Ltd., a work/life consulting firm and its division, Professional Mothers, a first-to-market job-matching service focusing on flexible work options, and as an HR Director at PricewaterhouseCoopers.
The issues facing professional working mothers and the companies that employ them have never been more complex and intertwined. Making the puzzle pieces fit means asking employees what's working and what's not and providing leaders and managers with strategies and support to adjust and adapt to changing workforce needs.
I'll pull up a chair and listen. Then we'll get to work.