What can companies do to best support and develop executive mothers?
This question started with a discussion about talking with your manager. The group agreed that as hard as it may be to start to do it, it is important to discuss your wants and aims with your manager.
- Having a manager who understands family needs is important.
- We make our own lives difficult enough by feeling guilty. We make it worse by assuming our manager won’t understand or want to help.
- Victoria: Many of my male clients want more time with their families, too. They often respect women who insist on having the time they need. They experiment with asking for it for themselves to varying degrees.
- It is important to have a pragmatic discussion with your manager about days and school runs, etc.
- We need more men who are willing to say “I want to pick my children up from nursery!”
- Things are changing. Men are saying, “I can’t be there tomorrow because of sports day/nativity play, etc.” In December we can’t schedule any meetings because of everyone’s children’s events.
- One of us knew of a woman who, when her boss denied her request to regularly do the school run, noted to him that there are men every day wasting time at the water cooler, chatting at a colleague’s desk, or in the queue for coffee or a sandwich, so her picking up her child from school is simply a different way of using her break time. He agreed and she was allowed to do the school run.
- It is also based on your personal performance. If you aren’t doing a good job, they won’t say yes. But you should be up front about what you want and find out if it is possible!
- You have to see an opportunity and go for it!