According to Pew Research, about 86 percent of women ages 40–44 are moms. And of those moms, seven in 10 become part of the workforce in America. Pew also says that mothers are now the primary (or sole) source of income for 40 percent of American households with children under 18 years of age.
Knowing that motherhood and work are two of the biggest commitments women make in their lives, She Runs It began a tradition 16 years ago to acknowledge women who are particularly savvy at juggling the demands of both roles. Reading the submissions and learning about how these women navigate their lives, I'm always reminded of Tina Fey's words: "I think every working mom probably feels the same thing," she said. "You go through big chunks of time where you're just thinking, 'This is impossible — oh, this is impossible.' And then you just keep going and keep going, and you sort of do the impossible."
This year, She Runs It selected 24 women in marketing, media, and tech as Working Moms of the Year. Their stories are as remarkable as they are inspirational. Their strategies can serve as a master class for women (and men) who are considering parenthood and want to achieve equal levels of success at home and at work. It's not easy.
As Kathleen Dundas, president of data strategy and tech at Zenith, attests: "Every year, I see more focus on whole life for professionals — no longer is the focus on work and life balance, but [on] how do we integrate all of these things…. Getting your job done is not 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and your life doesn't just exist from 5:01 p.m. to 8:59 a.m. Giving people the flexibility to make their lives work has become more widely accepted and embraced; work how, when, and where you want to make your life work. I believe our industry is really making progress on this subject and it is starting to gain traction for moms, dads, and, frankly, all people."
In She Runs It's 16 years of evaluating submissions for working mothers of the year, we have also gained a lot of visibility into corporate practices and programs — many of them initiated by the women who are being celebrated. It became increasingly clear that the culture and environment a company fosters to support working parents are critical to individual success, so two years ago we began recognizing Best Companies for Working Parents. The companies will be announced at the beginning of the year.
All of our 2020 Working Mothers and Companies of the Year will be honored on Thursday, February 27, during an awards luncheon at Cipriani in New York. It's a great opportunity to explore the balancing act of working parents and celebrate the accomplishments of these inspirational women and the companies that support them.
New-to-Motherhood Moms achieve balance in their lives and are strong role models for their associates at work and their children at home. Their children are six years or younger and they seek innovative approaches to work-life balance. These winners include:
Established Moms have an oldest child between the ages of 7 and 17. These women thrive on their busy lives and have positively impacted other working mothers with their skills at achieving work-life balance. The Established Mom winners are:
Trailblazer Moms are categorized as pioneers of working motherhood. They began combining work and family at least 18 years ago and have held leadership positions while raising their children. The Trailblazer winners are:
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