September 29, 2021


by: admin


Tags: Community, IBMs, Mother, Relies, Supportive, Work, Working, Year


Categories: Parenting

IBM’s Working Mom of the Yr Depends on Her Supportive Neighborhood to Make It Work

1. In your opinion, which main service or which program (e.g. paid vacation, subsidized childcare or flexible working hours) are responsible for advancement in your company? How has this program been particularly helpful to you as a working mother?

When I started out as a travel consultant, I hadn’t thought about how motherhood would affect my role – which requires a lot of travel. Then when I first got pregnant about six years ago they added six weeks of paid parental leave which was great. IBM has really great perks that I never thought of when I graduated from business school, but they’re great not just for working moms, they’re great for everyone in the company.

And the pandemic has made the general flexibility we have been given so important. Our colleagues can now literally see us doing our two-plus full-time jobs, as parents and at work. People are seeing it a lot more now and I hope they don’t forget when things go “back to normal” and that this flexibility that has been given to us remains something. When we inevitably return to the office, it will be easier for the men to return to the office because they are less likely to ask for this flexibility because they will not “need” it. it. So the challenge is how do you go back? How do you keep the flexibility? How can we work in an office again and still have a level playing field? Because what COVID has done is in some ways, yes, it has disadvantaged women in many ways. But on the other hand, it also leveled the playing field because this “boys’ club” no longer exists. There’s no meeting after work to drink, which 99 percent of the time mothers can’t do, so networking has always been different for us. In order for it to work, it will be the real test for working mothers.

2. To what extent has the support from your colleagues / company helped you to grow in your career?

I am currently on a team that has many different personalities and different stages of life, but what remains is we have an incredible leadership team including my boss who has been key to my success as a working mom. The management team includes me and one other working mother, we both have young children and two full-time work households. And so the meetings are flexibly tailored to our family obligations, because we have to bring children from school or pick them up, whatever it may be. There are certain times of the day and certain circumstances that we have made very clear in order to draw boundaries. And when I say we have different phases in life, it’s because the rest of the leadership are grandparents. And so the grandparents say, “Oh, my daughter is going through the same thing” or “I wish my son had that.” So then you have that certain empathy that is very, very urgently needed right now. So it’s very person-specific and I think that goes for a lot of teams. I mean, working mothers are sure to benefit, but it applies to everyone. Ultimately, you want everyone to feel that way.

3. What are some of the biggest barriers to your career advancement?

As a woman, it’s really the bias that kills me. The bias of being a working mom is so difficult to overcome. I said, “Oh, but are you sure you want to pursue this position? But you have to take care of your kids? ”There’s definitely a bias and I’ve been overlooked for positions just because I’m a mom and think,“ But wait, I didn’t even get a chance to raise my hand. Why is that? “And then on the other hand, there are cases where I leave the office at 4:00 pm and you get the comments about the” bankers’ working hours “and you think,” Actually, my son has an ear infection and has to “So I’m going there now.” But I got it all. And even before that, when I was in business school at Columbia Business School, one of my classmates, who was a typical finance student, looked at me and said : “Did you cure cancer? Is that why you came to Columbia?” to get ahead because you have to fight all the time and for me it’s this double-edged sword because as a Hispanic immigrant mom I tick a lot of boxes, people think, “Oh, that’s why you have to get ahead.” And on the other hand, take d ow people do so many things that are so wrong – I get the question, “Are you here to clean?” or “Can you help me?” being Spanish, being a woman and being “good at English “Being are probably the hardest things to do.

4. Was there a crucial moment in your career and what did you learn from it?

I don’t know if there will be a single crucial moment, but I’ll tell you this: I realized early in my career how easy it is not to say anything, how easy it is to just sit and nod your head and take it – and how judgmental people are. So from the start I cared very little and I just hate injustice. I hate it when people feel like they are making you feel bad or judging you or they are unprofessional or disrespectful and think it’s okay. I’ve always had the feeling that I have to stand up for those who can’t. I’ve done that in my career and I’ve been told, “You don’t want to be that girl. You don’t want to be the one who rattles. ”In all honesty, I want to be the one who rattles because things have to change. This is how I did it, if I think something is wrong and runs counter to my values ​​and I have the feeling that it is wrong, then I will stand up for it and stand up for it. I just won’t let it stop me from what is affecting my career. It’s a pivotal moment every time I come across a situation where I feel like I have to do this. It feels like a crucial moment.

5. What advice would you give other working mothers to make it work?

Know that it will never be perfect. Most of us working mothers are very Type A people. We want things to be done a certain way and that is exhausting. Sometimes you just have to breathe in and say: “It’s okay”. Things are going to happen, you might be late to pick up your child from school, you might forget to pack lunch, you might forget about the task. And now I just have conversations with the teachers and tell them that I won’t always remember everything. “You have to hold my hand, send me an extra email, or do something, but there will be things that will fall through the cracks.” Similarly, I’ve told my team that my head is full of a million things, so don’t be afraid to remind me or acknowledge that I forgot XYZ. It’s part of the team that you have around you, how honest and open you are. And that’s exactly how I am. This is the mess that is going on around me and sometimes I need help. Nothing is perfect and don’t expect it. I think that at work you surround yourself with really good people and you are honest and open about your situation. Practice transparency and ask for help and understand that it will not be perfect. In addition, organizational talent! However, it works for you, find out.

I think IBM is one of the few companies that you can be a super successful working mom at. I think they do so much from a culture and educational perspective. It’s not that the benefits are specifically tailored to working parents, but I think what they’re really good at right now is supporting working parents. Inclusivity, equality, bias training – all of these just help people become much more aware of their interactions with others and be better managers, better coworkers, and better coworkers so that it is better for work parents. It can affect everyone else, but it’s definitely a great help for working parents.


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