Motherhood and Leadership: Can Mothers Make Good Leaders? 

Can mothers make good leaders?
The age-old question persists in the workplace – can women truly be both mothers and leaders? This week’s episode of the Leading Woman Show
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The age-old question persists in the workplace – can women truly be both mothers and leaders? This week’s episode of the Leading Woman Show tackled that perennial debate head-on with an insightful discussion.  

Women have an incredible opportunity to shape the next generation of leaders – their children. Before a woman even becomes a mother, society begins imprinting expectations of what motherhood looks like. We must then expand the narrative around motherhood to include women as capable, strategic leaders while also nurturing a family.   

Cultural Conditioning and Societal Expectations of Mothers  

A common myth persists that women must abandon their career aspirations when they become mothers. But here is an important truth – mothers can positively thrive in their careers, and their success sends an immensely powerful message to those around them, especially their offspring.  

When children see their mothers achieving big goals, it shows them everything that is possible for their own lives. It lights a fire within them to dream big too. Even for those without kids yet, we can learn so much from seeing inspirational women blaze trails while also building well rounded families.   

Beyond children, mothers play a huge role in shaping society’s future voters, policymakers, and leaders. They nurture entire generations. Despite their massive contributions, mothers often do not get included in major policy decisions that impact families. Making space for them just makes sense – they provide a unique lens on what communities need to thrive.   

Whether we are mothers or any other kind of working professional, we all stand to benefit from empowering women to succeed in all areas. Making room for voices of mothers in leadership roles positively impacts workplaces, governments, and the next generation. 

Importance of Structure and Self-Care for Balancing Motherhood and Career 

Achieving work-life balance can feel impossible for working mothers. But for first-time moms especially, juggling a career and motherhood brings overwhelming new demands. It is so easy to lose yourself in the shuffle. 

Having robust organizational systems and relying on help keeps everything manageable. It also reminds working moms that cycles come and go – no one does everything 100% around the clock. 

The truth is caretaking burdens still disproportionately fall on women’s shoulders. Learning to step back and ask others to step up is key, whether that is a partner, family, friends or community resources. Raising the next generation takes a village. 

Beyond parenting, we can all relate to times when work and personal life clash. Setting boundaries and embracing help ensures no one burns out. We need to shift cultural mindsets that mothers must do everything themselves. Supporting the women in our lives ultimately uplifts our whole community. 

Addressing Unconscious Gender Bias in the Workplace 

In the workplace, unconscious gender bias often manifests as exclusion from career-building conversations. Becoming aware of these biases and calling them out respectfully provides opportunity for growth. Scenario planning is one method to help people understand potentially threatening situations more clearly.  

Making the unconscious conscious through open, curious dialogue is the first step. Rather than strive to be a superwoman, lean into your femininity. Do not minimize your vulnerability; be honest about your challenges while recognizing your strengths. Womanhood is not a monolith. Comparison breeds discontentment and disempowerment.  

Mothers as Leaders Too – Claiming a Seat at the Table 

Becoming an architect of family legacy takes foresight and vision. Motherhood develops critical strategic skills like complex problem-solving, empathy, communication, intuition and flexibility. Women should leverage this expertise. Children eventually grow independent, but a mother’s mentoring role evolves over a lifetime.    

At WILAN (Women in Leadership Advancement Network), we recognize that women have tremendous leadership abilities that are often overlooked. Though raising children and managing households, mothers develop critical skills like multitasking, emotional intelligence, problem-solving, and perseverance. However, persistent societal biases fail to appreciate mothers as the competent leaders that they are. 

This is why The Leading Woman Show was created – to address these biases and highlight the diverse leadership potential of women. Every Sunday by 6:30pm, The Leading Woman Show airs on Channels Television and our YouTube channel. We feature inspiring stories of women leading in business, communities, politics, academia, advocacy, and more.  

Please join us in celebrating and supporting women’s leadership. Subscribe to The Leading Woman Show on our YouTube channel @wilanglobal and follow us @wilanglobal on all social media platforms as we advocate for mothers as leaders. 

The time is now for gender balance in leadership. Claim your seat at decision-making tables. Structure supportive communities for the thriving families that become thriving nations. 

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