Do women feel pressured to hide their role of mum to potential employers for fear of discrimination?
Are they worried if they tell a future employer they have a baby or young kids at home, they won’t get the job?
Do employers secretly or overtly believe mums can’t do the long hours/ might take time off for a sick child/ are juggling too much outside of work and may burn out?
According to the Australian Human Rights Commission many women still feel discriminated in the workplace.
Rather than hide the fact she’s a mum, by openly discussing her unique situation, you could have the chance to draw on the valuable assets that mothering brings.
While we’re not here to tell you who to employ, as there are so many things to consider, if your ideal candidate turns out to be a mum, it could be worth discussing how she’s placed, and see if you can make her situation work for your business.
When women manage work/life balance, mothers bring additional assets to work in the following areas:
1) TIME MANAGEMENT & ORGANISATIONAL ASSETS
Managing family and career requires exceptional time management and high level organisational skills in order to make it work.
Most women with children won’t squander precious work hours; they’ll utilise every moment they have in order to be present with their children.
2) PRIORITISING & MANAGING CONFLICTING RESPONSIBILITIES
Working under time limits and meeting the demands of children means that at home, she’s gaining valuable experience in prioritising conflicting demands.
3) NETWORKING SKILLS
For many mums, building networks of support in their lives means they also gain immeasurable experience in building relationships with diplomacy.
She’s learnt to reach out to make things run smoothly, and not shoulder all the finite details.
She’s also likely to know how to make those who offer their support feel valued and appreciated, and she’ll reciprocate at will.
Finding her network of mums that support each other with the needs of their kids is a transferable skill for team building and for further networking in the workplace.
In most cases, this is an area she’ll excel.
Does she manage and re-jig a complicated family budget, and ‘stretch the family dollar further’?
If budgeting for her department is something of value to her position, perhaps she has extensive additional experience here.
5) FLEXIBLE MINDSET
Mothering often requires learning to let go of rigid or set ideas and attending to the moment instead.
An event gone awry needs to be dealt with, as does a sudden injury or illness.
6) EMOTIONAL RESILIENCE
Mothering can be emotionally challenging and wrought with an ever-changing trajectory of difficult terrain. Learning emotional resilience can be fruitful to your business, where tough decisions are daily required.
If her job involves conflict management, strategies for coping with failures as well as success, and an entrepreneurial mindset, she might just become your ‘go-to person’ for advocacy, pillars of strengths and stamina to achieve your goals.
Your business is unique, as is each candidate you hire. Maybe a mum could be the right person for the job, but ultimately, as you all know, there are myriad of aspects involved in the hiring process. If she’s the lead candidate, discuss her position with honesty to see if you can make it work. At the very least, let’s all aim to move beyond the pressures to hide the role of mothering during job interviews, and view each candidate for the unique assets they bring.