I really loved Law Mama’s recent post on Mothering the Workplace. The qualities she outlined – making good choices, cleaning up messes, and using nice words – are things I think everybody can agree are good qualities in an employee. Don’t you think, though, in the ‘noise’ of internet and society, there seems to be more chatter about why NOT to hire moms? Like – ugh, those moms, they take maternity leave which costs money, they need health insurance for themselves and their kids which costs money, they might be distracted by their kids, may take more time off to care for their kids or whatever kind of BS people may believe about moms and how they impact the bottom line.
I actually believe that moms make great – if not among the best – employees simply because they are moms and here’s why:
- We are expert multi taskers. I don’t mean the kind of multitasking where things get dropped between the cracks with lots of excuses. I mean the kind of multi-tasking where everything gets done with A+ quality in record time. All things being equal, I’d want to hire a person who can nurse a baby while texting her husband to get milk on the way home, motioning to the 3-year-old to stop coloring on the wall, and then answer the door, giving the girl scout her undivided attention. All within 30 seconds.
- We understand the demands of children and family. Guess what. Most employees have demands of family. Even (gasp!) men. And it is BS to ask employees to basically pretend, while at work, that their family doesn’t exist or isn’t important. In fact, that approach is horrible for morale. Good employee relationships begin with getting to know each other on a personal level (with limits of course) and moms can be good at collegial family empathy. This is also a reason moms make good bosses! [P.S. Don’t freak out; I’m not saying this skill is limited to moms. But moms tend to be good at it because of their recent family experiences!]
- We really want to be good at our jobs. All that stuff I said in #2 about collegial family empathy, we don’t let it go too far to the point of distracting from getting stuff done. We’re working for a passion, for a cause or career we really care about. Or we’re working to be good role models for our children, to show them that women can bring home the bacon too, and to provide a good life for them. And we’re all working for the money. We are nothing if not motivated to excel. [But don’t try to take advantage of us and our motivation or need to work! That won’t fly, mister.]
- We’re organized and cut to the chase. Do you know how adept we are at keeping calendars and lists? At making sure snacks and diapers are packed at each outing? At making and keeping medical and dental appointments for multiple people, and planning meals every week, and gifts and cards for every occasion? At having a parenting technique for every challenge that rears its head? Yeah, we bring all those skills and a bag of chips to work. Plus we try to be efficient because….
- We try our darnedest not bring work home. Let me tell you why. It’s because we get it done AT WORK where it’s supposed to be done. Plus, when we’re home, we want to be present with our families and give them our undivided attention. Work stays at work, and that’s a good thing for everybody. [P.S. working dads – listen up – we’d like you to leave work at work too!]
- People really really really matter to us. Ok, the people that matter most to us are very short and adorable and we gave birth to them, but the mom in us can’t help but imagining everybody we encounter every day as somebody’s son or daughter, somebody’s mom or dad, somebody loved by somebody else. People are the foundation of any organization or company, and an employee to whom people really matter is invaluable.
- We rock at networking and taking initiative to be informed. Many moms have built a village around themselves and their family, all from networking with other moms and families. They build groups, lead groups, invite new people, organize moms’ nights, play dates, and seek out information and new things as a routine habit. Unless your organization is a you’re-on-your-own type place, you’ll want an employee who can network and who seeks out others from whom they can learn and with whom they can exchange ideas.
- We’re creative and innovative! Dear employer, have you ever trolled through any mommy blogs at all? In every one, you’ll find a post about how a mom solved a problem in a very creative, novel way. Show me a mom on a rainy day, and I’ll show you a Mcguyver who can take common household goods and turn them into a fun and educational activity the kids will love.
Now, I’m not saying these are rules or truths. I am saying that, from my observations of other moms – regardless of how they spend their days – these are tendencies. What do you think of this list? Any other reasons moms make good employees?