Welcome to our special Mother’s Day episode. Skimm’d from the Couch is a career podcast...and we can’t talk about work and career without talking about how that changes when you become a parent. This past year has also created new challenges for working moms, while exacerbating existing ones. Which, PS: often go unrecognized.
So we wanted to know - what can we do about it? To get some answers, we invited Reshma Saujani back on the show. She’s the founder of Girls Who Code, the leader of the Marshall Plan for moms, and a mom herself. We talk to her about parenthood, entrepreneurship, and how to fix a system that undervalues the invisible work of women.
Carly: You’ve mentioned in the past the motherhood penalty that women face at work…. Can you just better explain what that actually means?
Reshma: Yeah…. We have a fatherhood premium. We want to hire dads, but we have motherhood penalties. I'm sure a lot of folks listening to this call have been asked, "When are you planning to have kids? Are you planning to have kids?" And that's not seen as a good thing. That's seen as, "I don't know if I'm going to hire you." You know, one of the things that I think I get nervous about in this moment is, as you've seen, we've seen everybody's life on the Zoom screen. You've seen my son interrupted me a hundred times. You see my bedroom where I work.
And I think in the beginning, a lot of us were turning off our video and muting the sound because we knew, intellectually, that we were going to pay the cost of you seeing our mothering. And I really question whether now that you've seen my life and the work that I do, the extra unvalued unpaid labor that I do at home, whether employers are walking around right now being like, "Ugh, I've got to hire a mom."
Reshma: When people talk about, "Well, we got a vaccine, we're going to open up the schools. Everything's gonna be great." It's not true. The loss that we have suffered as women in the workforce is finite and horrible. And as an entrepreneur, you know, unless you got some KPIs, unless you’ve got a business plan of exactly how we're going to get back, we are not going to get back for 30, 40, 50 years at best.
Skimm'd by Alex Carr and Peter Bonaventure
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