Efficient and can-do: Why moms make the best employees
Taking care of children gives working mothers an ability to be more efficient with their time and commitments.
Lauren Smith Brody is the founder of The Fifth Trimester movement and the author of The Fifth Trimester: The Working Mom's Guide to Style, Sanity, and Big Success After Baby (Doubleday), a simultaneous #1 best-seller in the Amazon categories of Motherhood, Women & Business, and Cultural Anthropology. Her work has been featured on Good Morning America, CNN.com, Forbes, Fast Company, Harvard Business Review, Glamour, Refinery29, and dozens more outlets for business leaders and mothers. Prior to launching T5T, Lauren had a 16-year career in magazine publishing, most recently as the longtime executive editor of Glamour magazine at Condé Nast, where she produced the Women of the Year awards, honoring luminaries like Dr. Maya Angelou and Hillary Clinton. As both an executive-level manager and a content expert, she led colleagues and 12 million monthly readers through career and life transitions with empathy and vital information. Raised in Ohio, Texas, and Georgia, she now lives in New York City with her husband and two young sons.
There is something called the “motherhood penalty” and essentially it shows that a mother’s earnings dramatically decrease after having one baby. They continue to decrease after two and three and four.
When you look at fathers and you look at those same charts they’re barely impacted in terms of their pay. Some of this is tied really directly with just generally the pay gap between men and women in the United States.
The irony, of course, is that when you look at who actually performs well at work, women come back to work more capable than they were before they left in many, many cases. So they are, they have an end, a hard end stop to their day, right? But this actually makes them more efficient. If they have been home at leave, if they’ve been home with a baby on leave that baby has been the toughest drill sergeant boss you will ever have in your life, and has taught them to pivot between tasks without really any transition time between. You know, baby needs one thing, baby needs the next thing, you go, you go, you go, you do.
And that directly translates, it’s been shown by women when they come back to work they don’t need transition time between tasks.
So you hear a lot of women say like “Oh, I’m more efficient because my day is shorter.”
Well actually they’re more efficient because they don’t need that kind of transition time between tasks.
They compress things and they do things really efficiently—like actually the real definition of efficient.
Women also sometimes like to say – and I think sometimes we undersell ourselves—They say “Oh, after parenthood I am much better at saying no to things.”
And that is true and that is valid. But I also ask the women who I speak to to turn that around as well: So yes, you’re better at saying no to things that don’t matter, that aren’t going to ultimately benefit your company, benefit your life, help move you along in your career. Fine. However, when a new working mom says yes to something—whether it is going out with some colleagues for a networking drink after work or it is going for a big promotion or taking on a big new client—when a new working mom says yes to something she has done that compromise already, that “compromise math” is what I call it in her head to figure out: “How am I going to make this work? What am I going to steal time away from so that I can say yes to this?” so that by the time she gets to yes it’s an incredibly strong, incredibly real dedicated yes.
And I think that so much of the way we present ourselves coming back to work requires an internalization and an understanding of our strengths and of what we can contribute to the workplace.
Taking care of children gives working mothers an ability to be more efficient with their time and commitments, says Lauren Smith Brody. She is the founder of The Fifth Trimester movement and a best-selling author of books on motherhood and cultural anthropology.
Giving our solar system a "slap in the face"
- A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
- It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
- Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
The climate change we're witnessing is more dramatic than we might think.
A lazy buzz phrase – 'Is this the new normal?' – has been doing the rounds as extreme climate events have been piling up over the past year. To which the riposte should be: it's worse than that – we're on the road to even more frequent, more extreme events than we saw this year.
Once again, our circadian rhythm points the way.
- Seven individuals were locked inside a windowless, internetless room for 37 days.
- While at rest, they burned 130 more calories at 5 p.m. than at 5 a.m.
- Morning time again shown not to be the best time to eat.
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