In March, EO recognizes and celebrates women entrepreneurs with its second annual Empohar Virtual Conference, which focuses on the specific challenges women face in the business experience. In each one-hour session, women entrepreneurs will learn from experts how to navigate the three pillars of every woman entrepreneur’s life: business, family, and self.
We asked EO members how the workplace can and should change to improve women’s lives and empower a better family-relationship balance. Here’s what he shared.
End the Bias Against Working Moms
There is a common belief that mothers cannot handle the amount of work they put in to succeed in upper management positions. This affects current mothers as well as young female professionals, who fear that the choice to have a child may limit their professional opportunities. I appreciate that moms are becoming more transparent about choosing help for their “second innings” as we see women taking a greater number of top seats in corporations. The more we hear about the experiences of successful women, the less ashamed others will feel to follow in their footsteps.
Removing the prejudices surrounding working moms will have a lasting impact on the workplace.
— Megan Miller, EO Cincinnati, CEO, The Garage Group
Shift to more inclusive and diverse workplaces
As a female CEO, I believe we need to eradicate Culture of sexism and discrimination from professions. We must ensure that all individuals, regardless of gender or any other aspect of identity, are given equal opportunities to succeed and thrive in the workplace and in business.
This means implementing policies and practices that promote diversity, equity and inclusion. A shift toward more inclusive and diverse workplaces and suppliers where individuals of different backgrounds, ethnicities and genders can flourish and succeed. This will benefit not only the employees but the business as well, as it will bring forth different perspectives, ideas and ways of thinking.
Finally, let’s debunk the notion that there is only one way to be successful in business. We need to embrace and celebrate different leadership styles, perspectives and approaches. This will not only make businesses more inclusive and innovative but also create a more just and equitable society as a whole. Finally, we need more women on boards and in leadership.
– Amanda Ma, EO Los Angeles, CEO, Innovate Marketing Group
Offer flexibility and work from home options
Many of our employees are working moms, and we have found the most important way to meet their needs is by offering flexibility.
If the kids need to drop off at school, come after that and work a few hours later. If the kids need to be picked up from school, it’s okay to start early and leave work early. As long as the work gets done and we can all schedule meetings reliably, that’s what’s important.
We encourage people who don’t need to be in the production or fulfillment department to work from home, to allow even more flexibility with child care (especially helpful during the pandemic). Ultimately, we are a start-up, so we have the freedom to define how we want to operate, and the flexibility we want to support.
– Danielle Vincent, Eau Reno Tahoe, Co-Founder & CEO, Outlaws
no more mom guilt
As a female CEO, I’m all too familiar with the pressure and guilt that comes with balancing motherhood and a career. The expectations placed on us as mothers and leaders are often unrealistic and unattainable, leading to feelings of inadequacy and guilt. It is time for businesses to recognize the toll that mother guilt takes on women and their ability to thrive in their careers.
We need to replace this narrative with the idea that women must choose between being a “good mother” or a “good leader.” It is possible to be both, and businesses need to recognize and support this reality. This means providing flexible work arrangements, parental leave policies and resources for working parents.
Additionally, we need to remove the stigma that still exists around working moms. Women should not be made to feel guilty for pursuing their career goals along with raising a family. We need to create a culture that celebrates and supports working moms and recognizes the unique skills and perspectives they bring to the table.
By eliminating mother guilt from the workplace, we can empower women to excel as both mothers and leaders. It is time for businesses to create a more inclusive and supportive environment for working parents.
— Becky Feinberg-Galvez, EO Chicago, CEO, Candor Threads
stop making assumptions
let’s erase Gender bias regarding roles and responsibilities in the workplace. It means we should stop making assumptions and ask more questions. Let’s stop assuming that a woman should make the coffee or a man should assemble the new furniture. Let’s stop assuming that fathers are not responsible for taking care of children. And let’s stop assuming that only women should take parental leave.
We can help make the workplace more equitable by providing paid family leave to all employees, regardless of gender or parental status. And when parental leave is taken, we can encourage both mothers and fathers to take advantage of it and share the responsibilities of raising children. These policies and practices recognize that each employee is an individual who brings their own talents and unique challenges to the workplace, neither bound nor defined solely by their gender. And when we’re finally able to do that, we’ll make work better for everyone.
—Kristen Prinz, EO Chicago, Founder and Managing Partner of The Prinz Law Firm
Don’t miss EO’s 2023 EmpowHER Virtual Series on March 7, 14 and 21 (the first three Tuesdays of the month). Empohar invites women entrepreneurs to hear inspiring stories from fellow founders—including Randi Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media and former head of marketing at Facebook; Aanchal Bhatia, Founder, Sydenham Clinic; Hannah Wasisek, founder of Francesca; and Helle Thorning-Schmidt, former Prime Minister of Denmark—during a series of virtual events that are free and open to EO members, EO Accelerators, their companies, and potential EO members. register today!
On March 14, entrepreneur Aanchal Bhatia, founder of the Sydenham Clinic, will talk about how to be your family’s CEO, and Hannah Wasisek, founder of jewelry brand Francesca, will talk about how to live a time-rich life. The seminar is free and open to anyone upon registration. Sign up for Empower here today.
For more insight and inspiration from today’s leading entrepreneurs, check out EO on Inc. and more articles from the EO Blog.