Women are having children later in their careers and therefore have more responsibility on their plates when they start a family. For those that want to maintain a fruitful career, they need to do a little extra work to make sure everyone at work (including their boss, employees, customers, and peers) know they are coming back as strong as ever.
While every good manager puts on a happy face and genuinely congratulates the woman on her big news, they also secretly struggle with concerns about whether she will return after having the baby, if she’ll want to go part time, how this will impact team performance, and whether they need to begin recruiting now to backfill part or all of her work. These are real concerns that affect team engagement, effectiveness, and morale.
To help both the women planning families and the managers of these women cope better with these situations, check out these resources:
- Women planning families: If you are planning a family and want to make sure your career trajectory stays on track, you should apply the advice in The Career-Family Formula™: Three Steps Female Leaders Must Take When Planning a Family. In this eBook, Suz O’Donnell, President and Lead Coach of Thrivatize LLC, shares tangible advice for ensuring everyone around you knows you are coming back to work after you have your baby and that you want to maintain an amazing career while your family grows. She also offers additional resources on her website PowerfulWomenPlanningFamilies.com.
- Managers, Human Resources, and Diversity Officers: Even in the most supportive environments, unconscious bias can make a pregnant woman feel like her career trajectory is at risk. The more you can do to prevent these feelings, the more likely she is to come back feeling that you support her ongoing career development and success. Check out Suz Graf O’Donnell, President and Lead Coach of Thrivatize LLC’s whitepaper The Overlooked Opportunity To Retain More Women In Leadership. This whitepaper includes an engaging story of what can go wrong when well-meaning managers aren’t certain about the career desires of their employees who are planning a family. It also highlights team performance risks and costs savings that you can address by properly preparing your female leaders for this big change in their lives. You can find additional resources or contact information regarding this hot topic at PowerfulWomenPlanningFamilies.com.