Today was the second day in the Virtual Women Championship organized by 360 Experiential Solutions under the Auspices of the National Council for Women & in partnership with ExxonMobil. And the day ended with a panel discussion among 2 astonished women & a great moderator/third speaker who created a smooth discussion that helped in sharing different experiences under the parenting as a working-mother topic to learn from in this amazing network. The panel discussion was moderated by Sara Aziz & the discussion went among Karine Kamel, Dr. Hala Yousry, and Sara Aziz.
Sara Aziz originally is a psychotherapist, and the founder & president of Safe Kids. Which is an Egyptian organization that aims to deliver psychosocial services in the field of child protection. Founded in 2012 to empower the society to stand against child abuse and to promote gender equality.
Karine Kamel is women mindset coach & parent educator. A certified professional CoActive coach, an accredited certified coach, NLP practitioner, and PD Parent Educator.
Dr. Hala Youssry is the vice head of rural Committee in the National Council for Women. In addition to that she is a Philosophy professor, life coach, and trainer.
Sara Aziz has started the panel discussion with a hot question to list the top challenges faced as a working mother.
The struggle of playing various roles from an employee to a parent at least if there is no more thing on your plate.
Support from the husband, family, and the organization you are working with.
Transitions or change from career progression to being pregnant to giving birth & having a maternity leave to choosing between going back to work or taking an extended leave. And to align your schedule with your child’s schedule in terms of summer vacation, hobbies, quality time, and so on and so forth.
Mental & emotional pressure which is not equivalent to well-being.
The state of constant mourn or loss or grief we choose to live in by comparing between our lives before giving birth & after giving birth.
Identifying the conflict between motherhood vs. work decisions & prioritize between them.
Communication with your managers & your children in something like traveling for business need that might conflict with your children experiencing separation anxiety.
Being practical & plan everything given the new logistics taking place.
The inner fights as we always aim to give 100% in everything we do, and this leads to having a continuous guilt feeling.
The personal struggles that affect the kids negatively.
Ensure that 100% of everything in home is done & working only in the extra time.
The kids to be educated that mum & dad are building the home together.
Being present with the kids.
Following this hot list of challenges the question was how organizations can help in solving those challenges?
Working from home policy.
Encourage having quality time with kids.
Having flexibility with the due dates to cater the different needs. To ensure not missing important moments with the kids.
Understand the conflict that might happen between home & work.
Develop skills whether you chose to go back to work or to take an extended leave of absence.
Ensure that the maternity leave laws are applied & not affecting any hiring decisions.
Understand that being a woman is a package with all of the hormonal changes or having maternal leave and so on.
Ensure that the employees are feeling that they are more important than the tasks they are working on.
Focus on getting things done instead of enforcing the 8-working hours rule.
Plan for having an in-house nursery for new moms.
Support mothers case by case on both psychological & physical needs.
Engage men in the conversation.
The bottom line is to align the women needs with the company needs. While setting the bar high for our kids & not to raise them with stereotypes like moms are at home & dads are making money. Instead we should walk the talk to have a real change. And walk the talk, we should share all the responsibilities among all of the family members.
And to minimize the guilt feeling, working mothers needs to set boundaries to focus & be fully present with their children so work is work & home is home. And to manage this you need to:
Write everything needed from every member of the family on daily or weekly basis on a piece or paper.
Prioritize together to get things done collectively.