mothers and work
I’ve been sensing an increased motherhood militancy but did not know it had gotten this strong. This article is about MomsRising.org, a rapidly growing advocacy community for working mothers and a new, related documentary film that is getting a lot attention.
The bottom line: its bad out there for working mothers, 67% of who have children under 18. They want equal opportunities, fair treatment, equal pay and flexible schedules. I hope there’s progress, but I don’t envision sweeping change in the workplace.
The reality is that anything less than 13 hour days and full-time commitment is a perilous position for many professionals. For example, this firm’s idea of flex-time is allowing employees to start at 6 a.m. so they can leave by 7 p.m.
Its easy to understand the financial issues that working mothers face. But the NYT article, and what I’ve been seeing and sensing, makes me think that deeper issues for working mothers are about identity.
At many house parties, the issue that has generated the most discussion is something that activists call “maternal profiling.” That is using information about a woman’s status as a parent to make managerial decisions, like whether to hire her and how much to pay her.
I admire this group’s conviction in fighting for what they’ve earned and deserve. I also hope new models and scenarios for work will emerge from this movement, allowing working mothers to authentically and fully participate, and to bring their desperately needed value to the business world. I think we also need to ask ourselves: how can the professional service firms help them create this future?