Three women. Each one celebrates motherhood. All have in common: how enriching it has been for their life and career.

In these ways:

  • Gain new valuable skills in the workplace
  • Become the teacher and the student
  • Reflect on who you are and start to dream

1. Gain new valuable skills in the workplace

Hire a Mom! How 10 Years At Home Made Me A Better Leader At Google Martha Ivester TEDxNashville

Martha was a stay-at home mom for 10 years. After these 10 years, she took the time to breathe and redefine who she was. She realized she missed work and wanted to be a role model for her daughters.

At 44 years old, she was hired by a company in the music industry of 20-something year old people and was introduced as the first working mom that they ever had on their team. She was scared of not being relevant anymore. Three years later, she was called by Google Fiber for a new challenge. When leaving the music company, all the women thanked her warmly for the impact she had on:

  • the culture of the company,
  • their perceptions of working moms,
  • how she had helped show them a path that they did not think was sustainable for a working mom

She showed them that stay-at-home was valuable time in the workplace.

Developing new skills on a 24/7 job

Martha gave some examples of how she developed skills.

  • she had to coach her 4-year-old daughter to help her clean her little sister after she threw up in the car

Lessons learned ⇒ be resourceful, communicate, empower

  • her son was called a “nerd”. She told him how successful is the famous nerd “Bill Gates” and all great things he accomplished

Lessons learned ⇒ empathize, share a vision, inspire

Becoming a great manager

Two studies realized from Google support her point.

2012: Study on key behaviors that lead to managerial success at Google. It reveals that key behaviors are soft skills:

  • Empathy
  • Communication
  • Empowerment
  • Concern for well-being

Great managers show empathy and concern for their employee career. She developed exactly those skills with her kids.

Prepared to lead the most effective teams

2016: Google set out to discover the characteristics of the most effective teams with the project Aristotle. They came up with 5 characteristics of highly effective teams.

  1. Psychological safety: team members feel safe to take risks.
  2. Dependability: team members get things done on time
  3. Structure & Clarity: team members have clear roles, plans and goals
  4. Meaning
  5. Impact

A mom does create everyday a climate of psychological safety !

Martha asked herself for 10 years at home how to have the most impact on making her kids the best humans that they can be, how to encourage the right behaviors and empower them to feel confident to take risks and make smart decisions in life. Her kids taught her compassion, how to motivate in the face of adversity and how to stand up to a bully.

The skills that she developed at home made her a better employee, manager and leader.


2. Become the teacher and the student

How motherhood supercharged my career Gesine Thomson TEDxOrangeCoast

Gesine Thomson is an internationally recognized Architect and Speaker specializing in large scale Community Planning and Sustainable Commercial Growth.

She took a leap of faith when she decided to have and raise kids.

“In my life, so far, the defining moment was the moment I became a mother”.

Becoming the student

She actually gained two more professions:

  • being a mother
  • being a teacher

In the course of time, it started to merge between who’s the teacher and who’s the student.

She learned about leadership, diplomacy, common sense, being a mentor, a mediator, to listen, patience, patience, patience, breaking the rules, happy mistakes, embracing the unexpected, colors, pure emotions, being adaptable, being frugal, forgiveness, structure, love.

She learned about learning.

Between the time kids are toddlers and the time they are 6 years-old, science says that it is the time you learn the most, like you will never learn more in your life than what you learned during this period of time.

So she decided to adapt that to her.

Doing one thing a day you’ve never done

She committed to do one thing a day she never done before, something that would take her out of her comfort zone.

When doing this for years, it is amazing, your world starts to be gigantic. You are building an information base that is just substantial.

She calls it her “speed learning”.

Bringing the joy of life

She believes that everybody should have the joy of life, the magic that children know in their life. She tries to take this magic into the life of her family, of her friends, of her team and into her projects.


3. Reflect on who you are and start to dream

The impact of Motherhood on confidence and career Helen Packham TEDxBrighton

Preparing the un-preparable

Helen likes to control outcomes. She likes to be prepared. When she got pregnant, she applied that logic. She prepared with lots of books, books on sleep, books on baby weaning, timetables…

When her daughter came along, she was knocked her off her feet by the bowling ball of parenthood. After all she did, she was not prepared. She entitled her as a “mom” but she had no anchor of her own, she was searching outside of herself.

Fighting the impostor and coming back to yourself

When back to work, she was invaded by imposter syndrome thinking “You are not worth it anymore, you don’t know anything anymore”.

So, she decided to leave her high-flying career and started her own business. She sees it as running away from what she thought she wasn’t good at anymore, more than courage.

When she had her second child, she lost of part a herself again. She decided to take a step back:

  • She went back to the beginning and reconnected with her. To refind her, what were her needs. She needed to be clear on her core value
  • She rewired new beliefs: no more “I am not good enough”
  • She started to search within for happiness and validation.
  • She made a vision board, writing all the experiences she wanted to achieve and picked some along the year. Doing a TED talk was one of them. And here she is.

If you feel like you’ve lost a part of yourself through becoming a mum, if you feel like you’ve lost your confidence, like you’re not worthy, like you don’t have any courage, it is all in there, you just need to unlock it, come back home to yourself and start to dream”