Motherhood fosters employable skills

The question is increasingly popping up whether or not the skills of motherhood belongs on a CV.

The role of motherhood has become more visible during the pandemic as schools transitioned to remote classrooms, and women took on a bigger load of home life than before. Mothers multi-task, plan, research, negotiate, manage time and lead. Research shows mothers are better at listening, more diplomatic, very organised, more efficient, and better mentors.

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Does motherhood belong on a resume?

bbc.com

There has long been a push to recognise motherhood as a legitimate job, and the skills learned recognised as valuable to employers.

HeyMama, a US-based community for working mums, have launched a campaign called Motherhood on the Resume. The campaign is an effort to break down the cultural biases that exist against mothers.

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While women gain essential skills from motherhood, such as strong communication and interpersonal skills, the work world may not yet be ready to listen.

Employers view mothers as less fit for employment and promotion than their non-parent counterparts. Employers judge mothers as 10% less competent and 12.1% less committed. The US Census data shows that black women were paid 63% of non-Hispanic white men, and Latinas were compensated at only 55%. 

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The hiring perspective

Hiring managers who've seen what their mothers are capable of, or who are parents themselves, may view a mum more positively.

But subjectivity and biases remain. Some hiring managers might pass over mothers because they assume mothers will need more time off, or take advantage of a flexible scheduling policy. Ultimately, mothers need to connect how the skills learned in motherhood make them a strong candidate for a job.

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Mothers need to understand both the up and downsides of adding the title of 'mum' to their resume.

  • Although adding the title of 'mum' can feel empowering, it may still be risky as implicit bias is a huge factor.
  • A company's culture may also affect if the title belongs on that resume. However, if enough mothers vote with their feet, this could help spur a larger cultural change.
  • Right now, adding 'mum' to a CV isn't standard. It's difficult to know if more renegrades willing to 'sacrifice themselves' can change how women are viewed in the workplace.

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