the world of work was not designed for working parents
This was originally written as a Twitter thread
The world of work was not designed for working parents.
This is because of the patriarchy.
Fuck the patriarchy.
Some thoughts 👇🏻
If you think about it, white men created America’s “professional culture” and did not include any women or POC in their thinking. Y? Because they didn’t have any non-white-men among them.
They also had no need to consider what it takes to get work done while caring for children.
Working while parenting is hard af. I’m brand new to it and daaaamnn is it a challenge.
I know so many parents—moms especially—who are challenged by the need to perform at work just like everyone else while having virtually zero infrastructure to support them as working parents.
Add on the complexities of this global pandemic—forced isolation, limited if any childcare, social distance from friends and family, and so on—and moms are taking the brunt of the blow while still having to care for their little ones.
If you don’t believe me go DYOR.
So where’s the patriarchy come in? Why’s it matter?
Well, it’s everywhere, and it’s in the way.
It’s causing physical and mental harm to people and it needs to be smashed.
What’s this got to do with work?
When I started my company @enjoyhumanity it was with the belief that “business has lost its sense of humanity so I’m going to bring it back.”
This meant focusing on work culture, org dynamics, and all the things that help people enjoy where they work instead of feeling dread.
Now that I’m 5+ years in and have had many discussions about the relationship between work and life, I have a new take:
Business never had a sense of humanity to begin with.
Business, like so many other systems that “uphold” our modern world, is a product of The Patriarchy.
Our modern world of work is beautiful in so many ways—flexible schedules, amazing perks at the progressive companies, technology to work from anywhere, etc—but the fundamentals have not been addressed because they require systemic change, and that’s also hard af.
Changing an entire system is not easy and tbh I don’t have all the answers on how to do that. Sorry if that’s what you’re here for. Perhaps I’ll share something useful that helps you create change within your world, and that’s amazing.
But systemic change? That takes all of us.
Back to The Patriarchy.
Fuck the patriarchy.
But seriously, it’s in our way.
Because of the patriarchy our entire world of work has zero fundamentals on how to integrate a life of ambition with a life of family care.
Imagine what our economy would look and feel like if it actually valued caregiving
There’s no clear path for parents who love their family and want to have impact through a job that integrates nicely into their lives instead of requiring the choice between parenting and working.
That’s not a choice one should have to make.
Esp not in our age of abundance.
So what’s the conclusion?
Do something to help the moms with whom you work.
Grant them grace and flexibility. Understand they’re parents and are always going to put their kids first. That doesn’t mean their job is not important to them—it’s just not more impt than their kids.
Be proactive and offer space to the moms and parents you work with so they know they have your support and are willing to help them through work situations when their attention gets pulled to the home.
If you’re a leader, go revisit your policies and look for what makes it hard for moms and parents to effectively integrate work and life while living through a pandemic.
Better yet, find ways to provide childcare and family support to the people who work w you.
I didn’t write this thread to have all the answers, I wrote it as a thought starter and conversation point for you to take back to your peers and leadership teams and make them understand we need fundamental shifts to the way organizations support working parents.
Hopefully something in here fires you up in a way that makes you say FUCK YEA I NEED TO FIX THAT RIGHT NOW!!!
Good for you — go get em!!
If something in here triggers a reaction that surprises you, go explore that. Ask “why?” and write down your thoughts.
And finally, if you think I’m wrong about anything in here, I want to hear from you. BUT, I am open to a true dialogue and civil discourse, not namecalling and shaming as so frequently happens on this platform.
I shared this because I care and want ppl to experience more freedom
It’s time we fundamentally change the world of work to be more in line w what life is like in the 2020’s.
This means caring for parents who are caring for children. Moms specifically.
This means providing support and infrastructure to help people harmonize work and life.
It means listening to the needs of the people who choose to work for you, truly understanding those needs, and then doing everything you can to support their wellbeing and growth while they’re working with you and your organization.
Orgs provide infrastructure and shared resources. That’s kind of the whole point of bringing a bunch of people together around a common vision or mission: to support them working together towards success by providing shared resources, structures, and knowledge.
Let’s make sure the infrastructure of modern orgs fully supports moms, dads, caregivers, those w illnesses and disabilities, those who come from non-white-male backgrounds yet also aspire to contribute to the positive impact of an organization, and everyone I haven’t mentioned.
Fuck the patriarchy.