Women's Lifestyle
Working Mother

Working Mother

June/July 2020

Working Mother supports and empowers today's working moms in their pursuit of sucess - however they define it. We celebrate the complexity, humor and richness inherent in being a real working mom. And we salute the joys of getting it right (most of the time) in the greatest balancing act of all.

United States
Bonnier Corporation
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6 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
from paradise to pandemic

“The demands to do our jobs, teach our kids and keep our families healthy are just too much.” My friend Kerry’s wedding weekend was one of the most joyful experiences I’ve had. It was the first time my husband, Paul, and I had taken a vacation without the kids. The weather in Austin, Texas, was gorgeous. Several of my friends of more than 15 years were in attendance. Donkeys delivered our drinks at the cocktail hour. There was a karaoke booth. It was downright magical. But it was early March, and a sense of dread hung over the festivities. Our gastroenterologist friend updated us about what Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has since become a household name, was predicting. At the end of the wedding night, as guests put their arms around each…

1 min.
caring in a crisis

Bank of America has committed $100 million in philanthropic grants to support local communities in need. From addressing food insecurity to medical-response capacity and more, their partners are working to respond to the challenges brought on by the virus. Eli Lilly and Company is giving full base pay to the licensed medical pros on their staff to allow them to return to serving patients directly. Johnson & Johnson, with BARDA, committed $1 billion to novel coronavirus vaccine research and development. The company also donated 1 million face masks, isopropyl alcohol, generators and other medical devices to China in February, then donated an additional $50 million to support frontline workers globally. The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. donated $2 million to Doctors Without Borders and reopened a factory to manufacture hand sanitizer and hydroalcoholic gel…

2 min.
managing microaggressions

Most people know the sting of being demeaned at the office. But when indignities are directed at members of a marginalized group, and rooted in bias, it’s not a simple snub. It’s a microaggression. And it has the power to do lasting harm, not just to the people involved in an exchange, but also to an entire organization. They happen a lot. A 2019 study by McKinsey & Company and Lean In found that 73 percent of women have experienced at least one type of microaggression in their workplace. Women who identify as black, lesbian, bisexual or disabled are twice as likely as men to experience microaggressions at work. Psychologists liken microaggressions to death by a thousand cuts. Individually, they’re a minor nuisance, but research shows that over time, they elevate levels…

2 min.
“she seems aggressive.”

Women, and particularly black and Latina women, are often labeled “angry,” “fiery” or “aggressive,” Scott notes. The bias hinders women in more than one way—it can encourage them to dial back the personality traits that make them great leaders, out of fear of conforming to a stereotype about their race or gender, a phenomenon known as “stereotype threat.” “These stereotypes come up frequently across the talent life cycle, but particularly when organizations are recruiting and interviewing, as well as in performance-management and talent-promotion discussions,” says Tsai-Munster. For example, a Harvard Business Review report examining 200 performance reviews at a tech company found that references to “being too aggressive” were present in 76 percent of the women’s reviews, and only 24 percent of men’s. If You Made the Comment Time to check your implicit…

1 min.
“i’m surprised you’re so articulate!”

Women, especially those who work in male-dominated fields, often elicit shock that they’re intelligent, skilled or competent, Govan says. It comes up even more for women of color. Over a quarter of black women (26 percent), 18 percent of Latinas and 16 percent of Asian women report they’ve heard others express surprise at their language skills or other abilities, according to the McKinsey/Lean In study. If You Made the Comment Acknowledge your unconscious bias, apologize for it, and examine it, Goodman says. “Say: ‘I’m really sorry; I just realized the assumptions I was making. I’m going to think about where that comes from for me.’” If You Received the Comment Humor or sarcasm can be helpful, Goodman says. “Yes! It’s amazing what women can do these days!” Or ask questions that might encourage your…

1 min.
“you must be the assistant.”

Women are twice as likely as men to be mistaken for someone more junior, according to the McKinsey/Lean In study. (It often happens when a woman manager or exec meets someone new and is mistaken for her male assistant.) If You Made the Comment Apologize on the spot, then challenge yourself to stop making assumptions. “We are living in a, thankfully, more diverse world, so to keep yourself from being embarrassed, go into rooms asking questions, not making statements,” Scott says. If You Received the Comment “What’s behind it most times is not malicious intent but unconscious bias,” Scott says. Govan suggests saying with a laugh: “Yes, people think that all the time.” If You’re a Bystander Provide a gentle correction: “Actually, Jane is the CEO, and Joe is her assistant.” As Scott says, “It could…