In the midst of Winter, I find there is, within me, an invincible Summer. (PS: Thanks Albert!)
December holds a special meaning to me: that coziness I am lucky enough to be able to experience in the warmth of our home, seasoned with the jingling of the festive decorations and the multicolored lights randomly scattered around our living room. The season alone has me feeling that I really am living the life I always longed for: a life of love, purpose and impact.
Not all Decembers were brightly colored, though. This time around last year found us combatting my Mom’s cancer return. A year before that, I was still trying to figure out the whereabouts of being a young toddler Mom while catching my breath. Another year back, I was on Maternity leave, shocked to realize (for the first time in my life) the societal stigma, inequality and impact the “Mommy Track” has had on mothers globally.
Ηow working mothers run the risk of missing out on growth opportunities on a daily basis, harshly judged by no other account than their roles. How mothers find it hard to stay within (or even enter) the Workforce judged by gaps in their CVs or perceived “lack of flexibility” in navigating the extremities of this pandemic. That realization resonated so hard within me, that I made a timid and honest movement out it:
- This very space (the Project Mamager Blog) where I get to write about Parenthood competencies, how transferable they are to the Workplace (and vice versa) and host interviews of working parents (Moms and Dads alike) where they openly share their experience.
- A Lean In Support Circle for Working Moms in Athens, Greece where exclusive learning material is carefully crafted and dispatched to all members during our Monthly sessions.
- A Monthly Memento of insights collectively created by Working Mothers of the Circle and openly shared so that the world of work (and beyond) gets acquainted with the reality, the complexities, and the dynamic of working Mothers.
- A Magazine curating forward-looking resources towards an inclusive, empathetic and growth-minded Workforce
Three years fast-forward to date, I am proud and humbled by the impact my voluntary work has had to spark the conversation about the underestimated potential of Working Mothers, how they are multi-competent knowledge workers and how, regardless of circumstance, Mothers are (by far) the best at getting things done.
That said, I am beyond ecstatic to welcome Mita Mallick aboard the How She Does It column. Mita has spent over 15 years as a storyteller, leading iconic brands like AVEENO, AVON Color Cosmetics, Chapstick, Vaseline, Suave and Dove. Throughout her career, she has fought hard to ensure people like her are included. Ensuring Black and Brown people were represented in campaigns. Ensuring products we created were for all skin tones. Ensuring brands were not reinforcing stereotypes. Mita believes that diversity of thought doesn’t happen without diversity of representation. And as she walks her talk, I warmly salute her.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a passionate storyteller focused on multicultural marketing. I am a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Executive. Most importantly, I am Mom to Jay who is 8 and Priya who is 6. My husband and I have been living in Jersey City, NJ, U.S. with our two kids, doing the best we can during the last 17 months of this pandemic.
Stemming from your personal experience, what is the toughest part of being a Mom, and how do you manage it?
One of the toughest parts of being a working mom has been former bosses who have put me on “the Mommy track.” I once was up for a big promotion, and the role required some travel. My former boss said to me: “You have two young kids at home. Who will watch them? You can’t take that role.” He took my name off the list for the promotion opportunity. I wish I had said to him: “Who gave you permission to slow down my career?”
I get tired of being asked the question how I do it all- because my husband never gets asked that question. And I wish he would. I want to be a great mom and a great leader. We don’t question when fathers want to do this. So why do we have different standards for what we thinking working mothers can achieve versus working fathers?
Who is (are) your go-to person(s) when you need support as a Mother? What type of support are you mostly in need of?
I go to my own mom who knows everything for any and all questions. She knows how to make a meal with a mostly empty fridge. She can diagnose a skin rash over FaceTime, discipline my kids when they need a stern lecture, and she knows exactly what clothes they will need for next Spring. I am in awe of my mom’s knowledge on even the most random subjects and her unconditional love and unwavering support of me and my family.
What’s the No1 Skill (or Ability, or Knowledge) you have found handy in your role as a Mom?
Now as a mom, I am so much more efficient with my time. I have to be! I don’t have hours to develop a PowerPoint deck for work or stress over how to craft a perfect email for work. Sometimes done is better than perfect. Being a mom has helped me focus on the output at work and what the key deliverables are instead of laboring for hours over inputs and second guessing myself.
What advice do you have for a new Mom?
Please don’t forget to be kind to yourself. Show yourself the same grace and kindness you would show to others in your life.