Time was when little boys dreamt of becoming engineers and astronauts while little girls dreamt of being secretaries and health aides. But a study published by Fatherly in2017 showed that while little boys continue to dream about becoming athletes and firefighters, the girls have moved on from nurses and flight attendants; they now dream of becoming scientists or doctors.
Experts believe that the single-most factor that may have led to this change is the presence of working mothers in family setups. In Kids Benefit from Having a Working Mom, an article published in Harvard Business Review (HBR), author Carmen Nobel writes about a “positive correlation between working mothers and the future success of their daughters in the workplace and their sons on the home front”.
The research behind the article was conducted in 2015 by Kathleen L McGinn, the Cahners-Rabb Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School (HBS); Mayra Ruiz Castro, a researcher at HBS; and Elizabeth Long Lingo, an embedded practitioner at Mt. Holyoke College; showed: “There are very few things, that we know of, that have such a clear effect on gender inequality as being raised by a working mother.”
The HBS study, which holds true across 24 countries, states that women whose mothers worked outside the home are “more likely to have jobs themselves, are more likely to hold supervisory responsibility at those jobs and earn higher wages than women whose mothers stayed home full time”.
Here's a look at how working mothers set their kids up for success at the workplace:
They instill a strong work ethic in theirWhen children see both parents work hard at home and then head to office to provide for the family, they learn that nothing comes easy. A working mother's daily commitment and shouldering of workplace responsibilities lays the foundation for the next generation to emulate the same.
They teach their kids to be adaptable Every working mother knows the importance of learning to expect the unexpected. Children can fall sick, the maid may not turn up, and babysitters can take leave. A working mother's child learns to adapt from an early age – a quality that stands him or her well as they grow into adults who must navigate shifting work/home scenarios.
They show children how they can manage time better In her book, Working Mom's 411: How to Manage Kids, Career & Home, Michelle LaRowe writes that many mothers with full-time jobs are left with about 40 hours a week to get things such as cleaning, errands, spending time with family and friends, grocery shopping, and pursuing personal interests. Kids learn time organisation skills seeing their moms successfully manage their work and home life.
They showcase the value ofEvery working woman with children knows that her career is possible only because of a certain give and take with her support system. Be it a partner, parents, family members or caregivers, she needs to work with them as a team to ensure that both work and home fronts thrive. Seeing the people who care for him/her adapt, help out and support each other shows a child the importance of teamwork from a young age.
They make their children more responsibleWomen who balance work and home need to take care of zillions of activities every week. And with both parents working, every family member needs to play an important role to ensure that the functioning of day-to-day life is smooth. Children who grow up in such circumstances turn out to be more independent and responsible individuals.
They raise more empathetic and caring sonsWhile the presence of a working mom at home showed no effect at all on sons' employment, research done by Harvard Business School showed that boys with working mothers are “more likely to contribute to work around the house as adults and to spend more time caring for children and family”.
Having a career can benefit you and your family in more ways than one. So get started today by signing up here.