Although I’ve been fortunate in my own maternity leave experiences I find that some companies still treat maternity leave as a necessary evil rather than a differentiated way to attract, retain and engage talented people.
Talk about a missed opportunity! The working moms I know are some of the most efficient workers you can get for money. They have to be so they can get home, cook dinner, fold laundry, wipe noses, change diapers, bandage boo boos, check homework, read stories, bake brownies, bring kids to bed then finish up their day jobs after the kids go to bed.
Think these women can’t handle a little work? Think again: these flexible, multitasking moms are a workforce to reckon with.
It’s very, very easy to see having too much to do in too little time as a source of stress. Believe me, I know. But constraints can also be a source of inspiration, creativity and amazing performance. Not having enough time can be a gift. It forces you to find a way to do your most important work first.
Is there really a glass ceiling? I don’t buy it. But I could be wrong. I know there are more men in leadership positions than women. I know there are industries where men have the advantage. And I’ve worked with (and for) chauvinists. But I just don’t believe there is a conspiracy to keep women from advancing.
If we had a crystal ball, life would be grand. But, because we don’t, we often find ourselves at the mercy of hindsight. Hindsight being 20/20, what is one setback you faced in your career that ended up being a blessing in disguise?
Years ago, I was an HR product manager for a large global software company. Back in those days at my company, the title ‘product manager’ meant you managed both functional and technical teams. But when that changed, I had to make a difficult choice: functional or technical? I quickly learned that the road to what you want isn’t always straight and it’s easy to get distracted by what you think you want.