Why Women Don’t Return After Maternity Leave

Helen Letchfieldco-founder of Parenting for Professionals Ltd in the UK, which enables companies to support new and existing parents at work through coaching,  wrote a great article at TrainingJournal.com  about the reasons why women leave the workforce after maternity leave.   Here’s a bit of what Helen had to say:

Returning to work after maternity leave is one of the biggest changes a female employee will ever have to make.  Yet in many organisations, this life-changing event remains unsupported.  Very typically, women returners struggle in silence, not wanting to appear ‘needy’ by asking for help.

Read moreWhy Women Don’t Return After Maternity Leave

Support Pregnant Workers – Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

There was big news last week but you probably missed it.  With all the focus and controversy about the Time breastfeeding cover, there was little attention to the announcement about an issue that we can all agree on.  Last Tuesday it was announced that legislation has been proposed that would protect women who need accommodation in the workplace while they are pregnant.  Today women are being discriminated against when they ask for accommodations like carrying a water bottle to stay hydrated or using a stool at their work station instead of standing through their entire shift.

Bonnie Rochman does a great job explaining the proposed act in her Time post.

Pregnant Workers Fairness Act: Should Expectant Women Be Accommodated in the Workplace? 

There are several organizations on board in support of the legislation and I hope you join me in rallying support as well.  Since it was just announced last week there aren’t yet a lot of details on how working moms can get involved, but I will keep you posted here.  In the meantime, read up on the proposed legislation and contact your Congressmen and Congresswomen to ask for their support.  Don’t know who your representative(s) are?  Click here and enter your zip code.

Spread the word and get others involved!  Let’s support pregnant workers!

Working Through Mommy Brain

My pals at LiberatingWorkingMoms recently wrote about “mommy brain” and it sparked some reflection on my part about how my pregnancy and now everlasting mommy brain has impacted my work. Overall, it’s been a good thing if you don’t count the really stupid stuff I’ve done.

If you want to get all scientific about it, there is a great book by Katherine Ellison called The Mommy Brain that makes the argument that women can actually get smarter as a result of having children. So I guess the Octomom is a genius?!?

Read moreWorking Through Mommy Brain

I Gotta Have Faith – Working Your Real Hours

In my workplace I am an oddity.  Here’s a few reasons why:

  1. I’m just odd.  As a creative, outgoing person I am outside the norm of my introverted engineery co-workers.
  2. I’m female.  Probably 85% – 90% of the workforce in my organization of 5,000+ is male.
  3. I work a reduced work schedule at a reduced salary.  (Insert sound of a co-worker spitting out their coffee at the horror of this thought)

    Read moreI Gotta Have Faith – Working Your Real Hours

It’s Not All About the Money, Right? Moms earn up to 14 percent less than women who don’t have children

Usually my radio is tuned to NPR and I listen to it every day during my commute to and from work.  I really enjoy it and there are some days where I just sit in the parking lot at work while I’m getting all teared up over a Story Corps story.  Contrast that with the fact that the most played song on my iPod is “Peter Piper” by Run DMC and you’ll understand a little more about what makes me tick.

Anywho… I didn’t get to hear this interview live but I ran across it on the web.  The Wage Gap Between Moms, Other Working Women : NPR.  In this interview host Michel Martin discusses the gap between working mothers and other working women with University of New Mexico  economist Kate Krause; Dina Bakst of A Better Balance, a workplace rights organization; and Dawn Porter, founder of Trilogy Films and a mother of two.

Read moreIt’s Not All About the Money, Right? Moms earn up to 14 percent less than women who don’t have children

Is Women’s Career Advice Just a Bunch of Bunk?

Meghan Casserly writes a great blog called Girl Friday at Forbes.com.  A recent post highlights the struggles that women have in advancing their careers, especially in light of the specialized advice they receive.  Learnings from the Catalyst study The Myth of the Ideal Worker show that although women engage in activities like mentoring, networking and actually asking for what they want, they still do not receive promotional opportunities on par with their male peers.

It’s actually quite depressing to hear.  It’s like saying I went on a diet, I did more exercise than the other guy, I even took some crazy weight loss pills that made me grow a beard and I’m  STILL 10 pounds overweight and he lost 20 without doing a thing!  Here’s my spin…It’s depressing if you want exactly what the other guy has.

Read moreIs Women’s Career Advice Just a Bunch of Bunk?

Should I Stay or Should I Go? Online Tool for Moms

I was doing a bit of interwebbing today and ran across the Child Care Aware website.   They’ve got a helpful decision tool that walks you through questions to determine whether you should go back to work or stay home.   It also helps you:

  • consider critical areas of your lives impacted by child care decisions
  • Examine feelings regarding child care options
  • Seek the most appropriate resources and support for those choices

http://ccaapps.childcareaware.org/en/tools/decision_making_tool/index.php

First Visit to the Lactation Room

First, let me be clear that I have a deep felt gratitude for all those corporate Lactation Rooms out there.   They’re just funny so I’ll share my first experience with one.

I remember that before I left for my maternity leave that I was given the code to the door of our Lactation Room.  I felt like I was in a secret society of fabulous mothers who were perfectly balancing work and life by providing sustenance to their newborns by bringing home the bacon (and the milk).  Nursing was stressful for me and luckily during my time at home with the baby I had mastered the machine and thought I was fully prepped for day one back at work.  Boy was I wrong?!

Read moreFirst Visit to the Lactation Room