An ACM blog post on working and parenting – love it!

From The Working Mother Myth: Merging Parenting and Programming, which I received as a part of ACM Council on Women in Computing newsletter:

Can you name one woman leader in computer science who has talked about how hard being a parent is, or about their regrets about how they handled their maternity leave or their children’s early years.

Me neither.

Why the radio silence? Maybe traditionally successful women don’t find parenting difficult? Or maybe the ones who find it difficult drop out of the working world and aren’t around to be role models. My gut feeling is that most women worry that talking about these difficulties could impact their careers negatively, and so put on a brave face and a chipper persona instead.

I get it. Women work hard to reach positions of power. We want the story that is told about us to focus on our professional strengths, and not on our home life struggles. Besides, nobody wants to be a downer or scare expectant parents with ugly scenarios. But I can’t help but feel that as long as we sweep the real difficulties of being a working parent under the rug, we’ll never fix the workplace to make it a more suitable environment for new moms. And as long as we let startups build “culture” on the cornerstones of beer and foosball, we are squandering the opportunity to improve conditions for all those bright young girls we’re working so hard to entice into tech.

The norm seems to be for women to keep mum about mothering. But I am not standing on the edge of a glass cliff, and have no fear of falling. Let’s get this conversation started.

Read the whole blog post here


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