Being a manager is a position of great responsibility as it requires experience, knowledge and the mentality for it. Recently, I have found myself thinking of different job positions and how people can adapt or match them. As I mature, it is almost inevitable that I start thinking about my competitive job advantage against other candidates or even about potential prejudice against my gender.
Working in a field which is mostly male dominated, this may sound expected. However, I am glad that I have not experienced such discrimination from coworkers and colleagues and I must make clear that I firmly believe in self-motivation and reward for hard work, regardless of colour, background and beliefs.
The more women I meet in business, I realize that, although we have many skills in common – organisational, communicative, proactive etc. – they stand at a completely different level. What they have in common, I realized, was motherhood.
This put me in deep thought.
Having read a number of articles about gender equality and women in management and executive positions, I think – have we perhaps hastily tagged motherhood as a “reducing factor” instead of an “accelerating” one?
Granted, the foundations of a strong, organizing and communicative personality need to be there to achieve the status of a respected and productive manager. But, add to them the skills and the mental evolution that motherhood brings out in women and you have a new species of manager.
Motherhood enhances a woman’s personality, widens her horizons and significantly increases her awareness of new things, new dangers, new opportunities and new solutions. For this reason, women become more open and susceptible when predicting problems, thus coming up with creative and yet simple solutions. I like to think that a woman undergoes two “software upgrades” in her life: V1.0 when she becomes a mother and V2.0 when she becomes a grandmother.
All our mothers “magically” came up with “solutions” to constantly upcoming problems, “managed” the house with all its “projects” and “deliverables”, worked on and “developed” human beings and “relationships” to their best extent plus they sustained a career. That, combined with technological solutions that allow people to manage workload and deliver results from different locations, I believe is a major turning point in reconsidering motherhood in the professional path of a woman as an advantage to be treated as an asset.
I am yet to become a mother myself, but my interaction with such women as well as articles and success stories of other women around the world, inspire a confidence that this is a life changing experience that can help us embrace change and improve ourselves.
As for fatherhood – well, seeing as more and more dads are actually involved in the daily routine of their children, I am confident this will have a positive effect on them as well, not only on their skills and perception but also on the way they inspire and encourage their daughters.