Women around the world have a rich history of trial and triumph, of incredible strength and unmatched resilience. Every March, the global community comes together to celebrate women and their stories. We honor women’s rights champions like Susan B. Anthony and Sojourner Truth. We nod to contemporary women leaders like Malala Yousafzai and Elaine Welteroth. We hug our mothers, sisters and girlfriends just a little tighter, letting them know that we are grateful they are here.
Also in March, we look within our companies, our organizations, our communities and ourselves to ensure we are truly doing the work to empower our women. We know that to celebrate women without actively breaking down the barriers they face is to remain a complicit bystander in their longstanding oppression. We commit ourselves to lifting as we climb, holding space for today’s women so that they can embolden the next generation.
A WIN FOR WOMEN IS A WIN FOR EVERYBODY
The business case for supporting women is clear: In 2020, a McKinsey study on working women found that senior-level women are more likely than men to consider leaving work because of COVID-induced childcare difficulties — something that, the authors argue, companies cannot afford. Besides the fact that having female leadership may significantly increase company profits, female leaders are more likely to champion an inclusive and diverse company culture. They are also more likely to take other lower-level women under their wings, thus creating a more direct pipeline towards economic mobility.
But what about outside the workplace? How else might we benefit from empowering women?
One of the most profound answers to this question lies in a working woman herself, one we were thrilled to have as our guest speaker for this month’s Signature Event on Working Moms. Allison Robinson is the CEO and Founder of The Mom Project, an organization committed to helping mothers remain engaged in the workplace.
Allison writes: “Women staying engaged in the workforce on their terms is good for families. It’s good for business. It’s good for all of us.”
In fact, there is substantial research to support this. As highlighted in a study conducted by Harvard Business School Professor Kathleen McGinn and her colleagues, daughters of working mothers are more likely to perform better in their future careers, and children of working moms were found to be just as happy as children of stay-at-home moms well into adulthood. This and other data prove Allison’s point, that to empower women in the workplace is, ultimately, to empower everybody.
SIGNATURE EVENT RECAP
So what exactly do companies need to be doing to empower working moms? During last week’s event, Allison broke it down into three non-negotiables:
- Respect, which, as Allison says, “underpins everything.” Leaders and people managers must remember that real people are on their teams.
- Flexibility. Employees must be given the freedom to get work done in the way that works best for them, with the focus being on deliverables rather than prescriptive schedules.
- Benefits. “We need paid family leave for both genders,” Allison proposes, in order to promote a much-needed cultural shift in the workplace.
If you’d like to watch the full interview with Allison and learn more about her journey with The Mom Project, click here.
We understand that to truly uplift mothers, we must ensure they have the resources to provide for themselves and their children. There are 300,000 children living in poverty in the metro Atlanta area. Three out of five parents struggle with diaper need. That is why Civic Dinners is proud to partner with Helping Mamas — the only baby supply bank in Georgia.
Helping Mamas has donated over 1,000,000 essential items to mothers in need, and with your help, we can help them reach even greater milestones. Please consider donating to this worthy organization by following this link.
This conversation falls into the broader realm of gender equity, a topic covered in our new Equity Series featuring nine conversation topics. This series has been meticulously designed to help you and your community explore the barriers to true equity in various arenas, from housing and policing to race and education.
We encourage you to explore and work toward equity for women and for everyone everywhere. Get in touch with our Sales Team to bring the Equity Series to your network.