Friday, March 12, 2010

Should You Leave the Mom Label At Home?

I read an interesting blog post today on the San Francisco Chronicle's website that got me thinking: Should you leave the mom label at home? This is certainly an interesting question, particularly given the fact that "mom" is in the title of our company.

The author is responding to a commenter that noted she listed her titles as "Girl Scout CEO, Lawyer, Mom;" mom was third. The author goes on to say why and tells an interesting anecdote about interviewing for a job and asking about the culture. When she asked if it's OK to leave midday occasionally to volunteer in school or make a recital the interviewer said "sure, just make up an excuse, no one will ever know what your'e really doing." She didn't take the job.

It reminded me of my first job search post-MBA. A mom of newborn twins, I couldn't figure out how and when to disclose this. On the one hand, would I knock myself out of consideration if I disclosed it to early? But on the other hand, do I want to work for a company where I have to hide my family status? Ultimately I chose to disclose this at the end of the third interview, once they already wanted to make the offer. Although I was always the mom, the one who had to get up and leave meetings to make daycare pick up, I tried to keep my mom "chatter" to a minimum, 2 kid pictures maximum in my cube. For me, at least at that time, work was the one place where I didn't have to be the mom 110% of the time.

Fast forward nearly eight years, and this is what we're selling! Although we work with a variety of individuals who need some sort of flexibility in their lives- Dads, Baby Boomers, Grad Students- we are primarily helping working mothers achieve balance and professional success at the same time.

What's happened? Well for one thing, the Great Recession. With managers focusing on P&L and production, not a culture of "face time," it's suddenly extremely attractive to hire part-time professionals. Getting more done in less time and for less money? Bring it on!

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