Women who might have been considered for leadership roles often find that their dedication and capability are called into question as they approach motherhood. Simply being at a point in life where society assumes that women might want to have children can stall their career progression. Motherhood is a clear sign women are betraying the ideal worker standard. When women go on maternity leave, return to work, or take up flexible workplace practices, they face a range of beliefs and behaviors that serve to devalue them and their contribution. With COVID-19, these challenges have never been more difficult to overcome, as women are more likely to care for children and support them with homeschooling, while at the same time working from home. Women do all of this and then are more likely to be penalized for it, by their employers as they are perceived to be less committed, ambitious and serious about their work. To support women at work, we need company cultures that provide more than accommodations. We need leaders who adopt and value family-friendly practices.
On this episode, Robin J. Ely, a Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, will join us to discuss what is really holding women back at work.