The COVID-19 pandemic raised new barriers and conflicts when it comes to gender equality, particularly for moms, who apart from working their 9-5 jobs from home, also had to fulfill the role of parent, caregiver, teacher, chef, and more throughout the rest of the day. The disproportionate number of domestic responsibilities, that blended into their professional lives during the pandemic exposed that women still have a higher hill to climb than men. In fact:
· Interruptions to women’s careers tend to be longer and more frequent than those experienced by men.
· Both short- and long-term absences are stigmatized in the workplace, and have been linked to fewer promotions and salary increases in comparison to men
To truly level the playing field, we must move away from supporting women through a lens of equality and shift to one of equity that is inclusive of supporting them professionally and domestically – not one or the other. Women must be given the capacity – at home and at work – to support their families and meet their goals. This means that both the household and workplace have a responsibility to alleviate mothers from some of their expectations. For the family, in particular, stepping in to take care of chores provides them with the life and financial skills to understand their value and advocate for themselves in the future.
International Women’s Day Interview With an Inspiring Woman
We had an opportunity to interview a powerful mom, that is working to #breakthebias. Angelique de Montbrun is an experienced marketing leader, who drives high-impact outcomes for the organizations she works with. Currently, Angelique is the Head of Marketing at Mydoh – an interactive, hands-on, money management app that allows parents to teach their kids sustainable and basic money skills, as well as manage their chores, through a gamified platform – and the Director of Consumer Marketing at RBC Ventures, where she launches and scales new ventures that solve problems and improve lives.
What struggles do you face being both a mom and an executive?
Both are full-time jobs, 100% and 100% – the math on that doesn’t exactly add up, and I also love both of my jobs. The major struggle for me is pacing myself. Not overextending myself despite having a lot that I can always be doing. So, when I am with my kids I really try to be with them, and when I am at work I try to really be there. As many parents would agree, that got hard during the past two years when work and life melded into one, impossible at times. It’s imperfect, so I try to give myself a lot of grace.
What are your biggest challenges balancing both?
Asking for support. There are times (many times) that asking for help feels harder than doing it for me, and it’s important to me that there is equitable participation from my team (at work) and my family (at home). For me, this means making sure everyone knows how they can contribute. Finding the time to create the processes that will give clarity on how everyone can support is a challenge, but important for maintaining greater balance.
I also think asking for help is important for my kids to see. My hope is that this will model to them to use their own voice to advocate for themselves as they grow up and need support.
Any other tips that you can share with others?
I think we need to give ourselves a lot of grace. Whether it’s managing working in the home, out of the home, or both, it is a lot of work.
Try and get your kids engaged in helping early. From my experience, this helps to reinforce that they are a part of something bigger than themselves and that everyone is needed. It shouldn’t just be mom doing the heavy lifting.
In our house we do give allowance for chores, a little motivation has gone a long way, and with their own money they have autonomy and independence, it doesn’t hurt that this then teaches them some valuable skills about money as well.
We use Mydoh with the older kids (12, 13) and it has helped tremendously to open conversations about the work we do around the house and the value of that work. Yes, we negotiate on the cost of chores. At a time when there continues to be major inequity at work and home for women, these conversations are helping to lay really important foundations for both my son and especially my daughter, to ask questions and communicate when something doesn’t seem fair.
Thank you Angelique for sharing your thoughts and ideas, as we keep working to #breakthebias towards women and their roles! Let’s make this a common message and not just on International Women’s Day #breakthebias!