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The Work-Life Equation Ep. 27: The Motherhood Penalty is Real

The Work-Life Equation Ep. 27: The Motherhood Penalty is Real

You know the saying, “If you want something done, ask a busy person”? Well, we could probably also change that to, “If you want something done, ask a mom.”

We found out last year in our Bright Horizons Modern Family Index study that for most families, moms are the go-to for everything – from figuring out the family schedule to answering the nightly “what’s for dinner?” question (and then getting that dinner on the table). They carry the mental load of family organization and operation, even if they’re working full-time, and even if they’re the breadwinner.

Moms’ capacities are enormous. They are professional negotiators, jugglers, crisis managers, teachers, solution seekers, and project managers. If you saw their resumes on how they communicate, complete tasks, think outside the box, and remain calm when things get tumultuous, you’d probably hire them in a heartbeat to lead your team.

So why are moms still doubted at work?

This year’s Modern Family Index sheds light on how working moms are getting the raw end of the deal. People today still don’t believe they can handle both working and taking care of the family. And moms are feeling it. The research says, they’re nervous to approach their bosses to discuss personal issues, and they’re even nervous to announce that they’re pregnant. And it’s gotten twice as worse in the last five years.

“While we want to believe we’ve evolved, I don’t think we really have,” says Maribeth Bearfield, Chief Human Resources Officer here at Bright Horizons.

But there’s room for change. In this episode, Maribeth dives into how Bright Horizons has emerged as an employer who’s leading the way in making life better for moms. We discuss the study’s findings, hear from real moms, and share best practices that will help mothers stay a significant part of the work (and life) equation. Take a listen and let us know what you think!

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