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.

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.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

People who engage in fat-shaming tend to score high in this personality trait

A new study explores how certain personality traits affect individuals' attitudes on obesity in others.

Mind & Brain
  • The study compared personality traits and obesity views among more than 3,000 mothers.
  • The results showed that the personality traits neuroticism and extraversion are linked to more negative views and behaviors related to obesity.
  • People who scored high in conscientiousness are more likely to experience "fat phobia.
Keep reading Show less

4 anti-scientific beliefs and their damaging consequences

The rise of anti-scientific thinking and conspiracy is a concerning trend.

Moon Landing Apollo
  • Fifty years later after one of the greatest achievements of mankind, there's a growing number of moon landing deniers. They are part of a larger trend of anti-scientific thinking.
  • Climate change, anti-vaccination and other assorted conspiratorial mindsets are a detriment and show a tangible impediment to fostering real progress or societal change.
  • All of these separate anti-scientific beliefs share a troubling root of intellectual dishonesty and ignorance.
Keep reading Show less

Reigning in brutality - how one man's outrage led to the Red Cross and the Geneva Conventions

The history of the Geneva Conventions tells us how the international community draws the line on brutality.

Napoleon III at the Battle of Solferino. Painting by Adolphe Yvon. 1861.
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Henry Dunant's work led to the Red Cross and conventions on treating prisoners humanely.
  • Four Geneva Conventions defined the rules for prisoners of war, torture, naval and medical personnel and more.
  • Amendments to the agreements reflect the modern world but have not been ratified by all countries.
Keep reading Show less