Working mothers are less dedicated. Working mothers are less adaptable. Working mothers’ skills are outdated. Working mothers are going to take maternity leave as soon as you hire them.
These are just some of the reasons 69% of companies in South Africa won’t be hiring working mothers in 2011 according to www.Fin24.com journalist Vida Booysen’s article “Hard times ahead for working moms”
Does this make you as mad as it made me when I read it?
I was retrenched along with 900,000 other people in the 2009 recession. With few employment opportunities available, I started my own marketing and public relations agency, L Communications, I’m also a freelance writer and I run www.hiccupsandgigglessa.com a parenting website.
Like every other working mom I know, I work incredibly hard. I’m in the home office every morning at 07:20, sometimes even 05:00 if I have a deadline and run flat out till five that evening, when my amazing nanny Mirriam goes home.
Then I swop my busy executive hat for my mom hat and my full focus turns to Ciara, my nearly-three year old daughter. She is 92cm bundle of energy and light, who is full of wonder and excitement wanting to learn everything, help with everything, and taste everything. I don’t stop till I pass out around midnight every night. If there’s a deadline I have to hit, my supportive husband wakes me after an hour’s nap and herds me back to the office where a strong cup of coffee sits steaming on my desk. He stays up with me till I’m done to make sure I hit the deadline.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could change the perception of working mothers? Wouldn’t it be great if we could show the business community the following traits that make us great mothers and great employees?
- We are flexible
- We are patient and tolerant
- We are time management gurus
- We are great with budgets
- We are great at listening, interpreting, understanding, empathising, helping and solving
- We are excellent problem solvers
- We are fantastic at researching and exploring
- We work well under pressure and meet deadlines
- We are constantly planning
- We are creative
- We are excellent teachers and trainers of others
- We are strong decision makers
- We thrive at developing and coaching and mentoring others
These are skills we use every day as mothers, and they translate beautifully into the workplace.
So working mom’s hold your heads high, 31% of South African companies are smart enough to recognise the talents we bring to the table. Let’s show the other 69% what we’re made of.
Copyright © 2011 Lindsay Grubb