3 Ways To Deal With Prejudice At Work Against You As A Working Mum

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A recent Regus study has confirmed that the recession has brought to the fore old prejudices against working mums. Many employers see the value of all that working mums have to offer - after all, have you ever encountered better planners, multi-taskers and beacons of calm in a storm?! There will always be a handful that has reservations about employing workings mothers, even if it is not explicitly mentioned.

Here are three ways in which ways to combat these prejudices facing you as a working mother.

1. Be flexible where you can, but draw 'no crossing' lines. The Regus study showed that some employers fear that working mums will not offer the same commitment or flexibility as other employees. Unless you have unlimited childcare options, this has to be the case to a certain extent - at least in terms of flexibility. With regards to commitment, often it's the working mums sat at their desks at home, tapping furiously at their keyboards once the kids have gone to bed. Choose your battles carefully, playing the kids card every time will not make you a popular member of any team. Where you can move arrangements easily, try and do so; in many cases it is not the principle that counts. Having said that, there has to be a strong sense of what absolutely cannot be changed. You are not going to be productive in any meeting whilst you are wringing your hands knowing that in ten minutes your child will be waiting at the school gates with no one to meet them. Draw your immovables in the sand right from the start and stick to them - always!


2. Be better at promoting yourself. One of the key concerns that employers have is that working mums returning to the work place will have out of date skills. If you are returning to work after a simple maternity break, unless you are in a highly dynamic, evolving industry, you'll be able to stay abridge of developments through your Keep in Touch days. After an extended break from work you will have to prove that you have kept up to date. This means that you will have to swallow your pride and start self-promoting. Talk about the article that you read over the weekend in your industry specific bi-weekly journal, and all of its relevant applications to your role and department, even better forward it to key team members as a piece of noteworthiness.

3. Make yourself indispensable. This is actually easier to achieve than you may think. As a working mum you will be extremely adept at coming up with solutions calmly and quickly. Add this this to a positive 'can do' attitude and your managers will be seeking you out as their right hand 'man'. They will be surrounded by naysayers and problem finders, if you can buck the trend and look for the ways in which things will work as opposed to why they won't, you will very quickly become a valued assert - even if you are a working mum!


With these three tips in effect you can improve how people perceive you at work and help combat prejudice.

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