‘Leadership’ to ‘First Time Parent’ to ‘Working Parent’…....lets make this better!
Sharing some true stories about the journey of ‘Leadership’ to ‘First Time Parent’ to ‘Working Parent’ and all the bits in between. I have recently been through this journey myself and want to share some of my experiences as well as other leaders, both mums and dads, who have recently been through this experience, with the view to making this better for the next people to go on this incredible journey.
Our community talks a lot about what companies should provide women once they have had a baby, however I believe we are missing the crucial stages; before/during/after, where our new parents really need help. I am going to talk about some recent experiences of becoming new parents in our industry and what other areas we are not talking enough about as leaders of our industry to make this journey better for all involved.
I will reflect on what I believe are the four key stages of this journey and share stories, with the view to opening a discussion about some other topics for us to start improving as a community.
Becoming a working parent
Outline/Structure of the Talk
With the increased awareness of diversity and inclusiveness growing across the world, I would like to share some real-life stories of how we move from work life balance to work & life becoming inclusive of each other, what it has been like for new parents in our industry on their journey of becoming a mums and dads.
I will talk through the key 4 stages I see the journey being broken down into and talk through some of the things that as leaders in your organisation you want to think about if you have the right support mechanisms in place.
A reflection point throughout this talk, is if you yourself as a leader have the tools and confidence to support some of these topics and are the leaders that you look after set up for success for the same conversations with their team members?.
A lot of the things I am going to talk about today are currently labelled as ‘mental health’ which people are nervous to open up about as they could be labelled as someone with a mental health problem, which our society is still not supportive enough about today. I would like everyone to think about these points as our ‘Emotional Wellbeing’ which gives them a much more positive label so hopefully over time this change in label will become easier to talk about.
The things I am going to talk through today might be personal topics that you don’t normally talk to your employees about. I do however encourage you to think about how the person going through these things feels. If you feel uncomfortable with the topics (IVF, Breastfeeding, Anxiety etc.) imagine how they may feel talking to their line manager about them or their peer groups! Lets just try and make one of these easier to talk about in the workforce.
I don’t have all the answers to these challenging topics, all I hope to do today is to increase awareness of the things as leaders we should be thinking about and working towards improving our support processes and tools around these topics. We have come a really long way in making our world more diverse and inclusive, however I hope to highlight today how much work we still have ahead of us and I hope that we can keep the conversations going as it is really important to support our team members through all stages of their lives.
The four stages of the journey that I am going to talk through today are:
Pre-pregnancy - so many emotions, but most of it is hidden for both males and females...
During pregnancy - anxiety, stress, confusion, scared, let’s talk about emotional health
Parental Leave - mums and dads need different support during this period
Becoming a working parent - for the new parents and their peer group at work
Work life balance is no longer a thing, advancement in technology has moved this needle from a conversation about balance, to a conversation about successful integration. Let’s talk about how technology is making these 4 stages of becoming a parent harder and how we can use technology to make it a little easier.
From this talk I hope you walk away with at least one of the below points:
An increased awareness of what it is like for people in our industry to go on the new parenthood journey
Topics to take back to your organisation to reflect on how well you are supporting parents in all 4 stages of the journey
A conversation starter with your leaders that report to you, how ready and capable are they to support someone who may bring one or more of things topics up with them?
A greater understanding that we still have a long way to go in supporting new parents through the journey, so hopefully you take away an action plan of how you can make a small dent in this area in some way
Prerequisites for Attendees
A willingness to talk about some personal topics and help move the needle on making it better….
Spoke at Agile Australia in 2015 on a large-scale ERP implementation and how we made the most of agile/waterfall practices. Also how we bridged the gap between a finance team and an IT team.