Flexibility, People and Culture. According to a study recently published by three female Harvard MBA second years, these are the three main enablers of success for working mothers. I was thrilled to be interviewed for this study, “Creating an Environment to Thrive; How Companies Support Executive Working Mothers” because what the authors were examining is exactly what my individual clients are most interested in, and what my corporate clients strive for.
Imagine…. these young women are about to embark on a very exciting chapter of their professional lives – that first job out of grad school – and they are already looking ahead to a future chapter which includes the combination of working and raising a family. They know that their work/life fit will take many twists and turns and they want to choose a progressive employer with this in mind.
I was recently invited to begin writing for WorkingMother.com and entitled my blog “A Career That Works”. This name is based on my conviction that fulfilling and satisfying work IS possible throughout the career span, recognizing that our definition of success changes during each chapter of our lives. And our description of “what works” is extremely individual and very fluid. Success during some chapters may mean working insanely hard, while other times may involve dialing down or completely hitting the career pause button. I advise my clients to get crystal clear on their personal definition of success and to make choices in alignment with their most important values. And I help employers attract, develop, retain and promote these key women throughout their varied career stages.
As the study points out, the Working Mother Top 100 is a great place to start when evaluating how supportive an organization might be. But what if the company you work for (or are considering joining) is not on that list? This study looks at what any company can do regardless of size. The good news is that even in the absence of formalized programs or policies common in bigger companies, environments can be nurtured that are beneficial to working parents, or any employee, seeking a healthy integration of work and life.
This white paper may have been written for the benefit of newly graduating MBAs, but I beleive it has great relevance to any woman assessing her potential for success within a company, and for employers that want to demonstrate their commitment to this very important talent pool.
I would love to hear your opinions on the findings of this study. Please visit my Resources Page to read this fascinating piece. Do you agree? What else needs to be included in this conversation? And how can we as women elevate the issues raised by these three insightful grad students who are about to leap back into the workforce?