Oftentimes when we think about mothers in business we think this: They did well until they had children, and then they stopped climbing the corporate ladder. Some studies have actually shown that when women leave their field of work to pursue being a stay at home mom for a few years they reenter that same workforce making much less pay (up to 28%!) and holding a position that is not as high as the one they held prior to children.
Yet a May 2003 study conducted by Catalyst, the Families and Work institute, and Boston College showed that women closer to CEO reporting levels were actually more likely to have children than women of a similar age at the same or at lower levels. Also, 70% of Fortune´s list of America´s Most Powerful Women in Business is comprised of mothers, so the belief that mothers cannot rise successfully in a business position is actually not true.
Moe Grzelakowski, who was at one time the Senior Vice President of both Motorola and Dell, interviewed mothers in business and wrote an article about the lessons that these mothers learned that help them to become better managers and employees. She found:
Pregnancy allowed mothers to understand and reflect on their lives. Decisions about work became less monumental and people felt that they were more approachable when pregnant than before.
Babies taught mothers how to nurture. While they needed to be tough, they also needed to be warm, and baby brought about this balance.
Toddlers taught mothers better ways to manage and how to get things done in less time. Each new toddler crisis taught these mothers how to stay in control when things got tough. (Think about how many toddler crises we have in just one day and this is easy to understand!)
How easy it is to see how mothers can make great managers, and how our wonderful, beautiful little children are so responsible for shaping the way that we lead our companies!
Have a great weekend, mommies!