“I’m sorry to all the mothers I used to work with.”

Former Senior News Editor of The Huffington Post and Executive Director of Digital of The Washington Post and current Co-Founder of Power To Fly Katharine Zaleski said what we all know but are too afraid to voice:

Younger women toe the line

Younger women toe the line to a corporate culture created by men, judging working mothers on hours logged versus output, and hold them back in their careers.

Check out the full article in Fortune but be prepared to pick your jaw up off the floor.  If you are honest, you might recognize your younger self before you had kids — I did.

I used to pride myself on being the first one to the office and the last one to leave.

I used to pride myself on being the first one to the office and the last to leave.  Even after having children when I job shared, I often worked upwards of 35 hours, 3 days a week — feeling that the hours I put in showed how productive I was and how valuable job sharing was for my company.  It was after my kids began elementary school and I had soccer practices and 4 o’clock games during the week, that I realized I could be even more productive working fewer hours!

As Zaleski says, “I wish I had known five years ago, as a young, childless manager, that mothers are the people you need on your team. There’s a saying that; if you want something done then ask a busy person to do it.’ That’s exactly why I like working with mothers now.”

We treat other women this way out of our fear.

As Zaleski points out, “The way I acted in my twenties had a lot to do with denial. If I didn’t embrace or recognize the mothers on my team, then I didn’t have to think about what my future would be like. I see the same behavior in young women I talk to who are in charge of hiring, especially in the tech space. They are hardliners – and passionate lecturers – about women being in the office so they can be part of the company’s “culture.”

Once she had her own child, she became “a woman with two choices: go back to work like before and never see my baby, or pull back on my hours and give up the career I’d built over the last ten years. When I looked at my little girl, I knew I didn’t want her to feel trapped like me.”

It was out of her own limited choices as an established pro in her career that Power To Fly was born.  1 billion women will enter the workforce in the next 10 years and 80% of them will become mothers, yet, we are losing more women in the workforce than in the 1970’s. Milena Berry and Katharine Zalesky have created a company to capture returners and keep talented women in the tech workspace with jobs that give them work-life balance.

“I wish I had known…as a young, childless manager, that mothers are the people you need on your team. There’s a saying that ;if you want something done then ask a busy person to do it.’ That’s exactly why I like working with mothers now.”

It really doesn’t matter how you get there, smart companies know it’s about output, not the hours you log. In the brave new world of work, there are many paths, and job sharing is just one of them.

If you are an HR professional or manager, Work Muse can help you create a work environment that leverages job sharing to attract and retain diverse talent and increase productivity and engagement.  Learn more here and email us to schedule a complimentary consultation.

If you want the most rewarding experience of your professional life and your best opportunity for real work-life balance, Work Muse can help you enter the world of job sharing. Learn more here and email us to schedule a complimentary consultation.


Melissa Nicholson is the Founder & CEO of Work Muse, a job share solutions firm. Job sharing is a partnership between two people to share the responsibilities of one full-time position. Work Muse drives adoption of job sharing in business as a source of competitive advantage while helping individuals find work-life balance. Join the #JobshareRevolution here –– events, resources, and relevant content to empower you in work and life! For more info, hello@workmuse.com.

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