Mother’s Day Special: A Tribute to Working Mothers

Xyris Tapia

Author

XYRIS TAPIS

Author

CATEGORIES

Categories

“Sometimes the strength of motherhood is greater than natural laws.”

– Barbara Kingsolver

Motherhood is an honor and an irreplaceable role. It is the most intrinsic chapter of a woman’s life, one that doesn’t require education to fall gracefully into. The instincts come naturally to women, brought about by the overflowing of love for the beings in their care.

And while the role of mothers has always remained rooted in nurturing children and taking care of the home, over time more and more women have found themselves joining the workforce, be it for career aspirations or to augment the family income.

For mothers who choose to pursue their careers, studies show that motherhood provides a good training ground to develop skills that are advantageous in the workplace. 1

For one, mothers tend to have well-honed soft skills and emotional intelligence. Having the experience of empathizing with a child’s emotions while balancing personal challenges allow mothers an acute sense of empathy and compassion, which can prove useful when dealing with colleagues or stakeholders.

Mothers are also experts at multitasking and time management, skills that they put to good use practically on a daily basis. To be able to juggle the demands of work and home is a big undertaking, but even more so when they have to divide their precious time in between. Yet, working mothers face this challenge and ace it consistently. Insights from LinkedIn point that Time Management is one of the most sought-after skills by companies in recent years. 2

 

“My 8 year-old daughter is learning the value of work and managing time properly. When I am busy working, she does activities that we have both planned ahead – reading, drawing and Math drills, to provide her additional learning. She understands more now that there’s a time to play and time to work. She is also becoming more independent and helps in doing simple chores to keep things tidy.”

-Kristina Lalaine Rito, Specialist, Client Services, S&P Global Philippines

 

 

 

“It’s a constant balancing act to make sure I deliver at work, as well as spend quality time with my family. To help in the juggling act, I rely heavily on my calendar – reserving time so I can be present for my children and family events and also reserving time to get work done.”

-Irma Roosmala Dewi, Business Development Director, Teleperformance Indonesia

 

 

 

 

Mothers are also flexible, creative and entrepreneurial. They are open to feedback and do not hold back on sharing their own opinions, perspective and advise. Being used to an environment of unpredictability usually means they are not afraid to try something and fail. They offer support where needed and can be counted on to lead and deliver.

Given all these, it goes without saying that being a working mother is not easy. As women join the workforce, children are often left in the care of other family members or childcare centres while their mothers are at work. 3

The advent of the global Covid-19 pandemic added more challenges to this demographic. As companies transition to the hybrid workplace, working mothers have been left in the lurch, unable to find a delineation between work and home. They now have to support their families physically, mentally and emotionally within the confines of their shared space, amongst the many other hats that they had to wear. Because of this, some had to make the difficult decision to let go of their careers completely, while others had to lean on their spouses or extended family members for support. Without this much-needed lifeline from family members, working moms have been experiencing burnout, anxiety and stress. 4

“It’s really a challenge to balance work and household chores especially when you have a pre-schooler who is also in need of attention and assistance. There are times I feel so exhausted and want to sleep after a long day but I still need to be attentive and enthusiastic for my meetings at night.”

-Lara Denice Cabagnot, Analyst, Employee Security Controls, Western Union AROC

 

 

Great Place To Work® is humbled to be among companies who look into these needs and address them holistically. These organizations opened various channels such as S&P Global’s ParentNet, for employees to draw support not just from their leaders but their colleagues as well.

 

“Despite being a team lead, my colleagues have given me so much understanding not just in the current virtual workplace, but even over the past years. I can speak up and be open about my concerns, suggestions and challenges at work to our President, People Partners and Line Managers during our regular catch-ups. We have channels to be heard as we practice an open door policy. “

-Mildred Semodio, Team Leader, Data/Content Management, S&P Global Philippines

 

 

We reached out to employees of GPTW-Certified™ companies to ask working mothers if they felt supported and how so, and these are what they had to share:

 

“Aside from company policies like allowing a 40-minute break for breastfeeding, what I am grateful for is how Western Union normalized flexibility in the workplace. Work-life balance may be very hard to achieve for working moms, but working for a company that encourages balance really helps a lot. It is also a great reminder for everyone that a sustainable pace of work is essential.”

-Francheska Manuel, Supervisor Platform Change & Knowledge Management, Western Union AROC (Francheska’s photo)

 

 

 

“It is fantastic to be comparing notes with working parents across the globe; we all have different and yet similar challenges.  Our colleagues are understanding and appreciative of the situation we are in.”

-Gina Si, Senior Manager, Commercial Operations, S&P Global Philippines

 

 

 

 

“I definitely found the support from my colleagues. We were all facing different challenges and we were there for each other. We found ourselves having conversations, acknowledging the challenges, exchanging experiences, providing support and encouragement and extending help as needed. There is also a community of strong women at Sun Life, and that community is a huge source of inspiration.

Sun Life has become such a pillar of support for its employees throughout this time. I am very grateful to be a part of an organization that prioritizes the welfare and wellness of its employees. As a mom, I have felt and continue to feel the immense support and encouragement. I would like to thank my peers, my colleagues, the community of Bright Women and my leaders at Sun Life for always making a working mom’s life brighter under the Sun.”

-Crissy Torres-Gomez, Director, ASCP Operations, Sun Life Philippines

 

I am grateful to work for a company that allows me the flexibility to be a productive team member at work and at home.

-Irma Roosmala Dewi, Business Development Director, Teleperformance Indonesia

 

 

 

 

 

 

For these very fortunate mothers, their companies gave them not just psychological and and emotional support, but a foundation and a community from where they can thrive and adapt to the new ways of working.

GPTW is also one with these companies in providing this nurturing environment for mothers. In the words of our very own Kristi-Ann Ong, who recently became a mom in 2020:

 

“It really does take a village to raise a child and I am so blessed to be in a company that supports and understands the joys and the struggles.

Working from home truly benefits me as a first time mom. I am able to watch my baby grow and at the same time work full time. My colleagues trust that I am able to deliver quality work while working from home.

I am so grateful for all the care and support I have received from my manager and colleagues.

When I was deliberating on whether to cut short my maternity leave and go back to work earlier, it was my manager that advised me to enjoy motherhood first and come back to work later. It was the best advice ever!

I have also received surprise “how are you” messages and even a care package all the way from Australia!”

-Kristi-Ann Ong, Client Solutions, Great Place To Work® Australia

 

To this day and age, even as workplaces have evolved, it is paramount to look into the emotional and psychological health of all its members, especially working mothers. In as much as they contribute to the diversity and culture of the organization, companies must work to enrich their lives and allow them to thrive given their new set of challenges.

Furthermore, hiring moms is a benefit to families and communities as a whole. They act as positive ‘role models’ to the young, being perfect examples for grit, determination and accomplishment. They also tend to raise more independent and empowered children, who are willing to take on responsibilities and extend help where necessary. 5

“When I think about teaching my children the value of hard work, money, pursuing what you are passionate about, and continuously learning and achieving, I always cite my career journey as an example. I also believe this has taught them to appreciate what they have – because they know they’d have to study hard to be able to find a great job that will allow them to live their lives comfortably.”

– Jen Lozano, People Partner, S&P Global Philippines

 

 

Finally, we share the inspiration of our own Managing Director for GPTW Asean, Joni Ong, who has successfully raised five children of her own, and continues to advocate for education and building great workplaces. Here she imparts her nuggets of wisdom for all working mothers:

 

“Author Elizabeth Stone once said, “Making the decision to have a child – it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”

Indeed, that is what working mothers do – giving your all to the business at hand while keeping a cool head about your heart being in a million places wherever your child is! I did just that, raising 5 children born within 6 years of each other. The wonderful thing about their close age gap is that they have constant playmates and the elder tend to help guide the younger in life skills, indirectly gifting me more time to complete my work tasks. Paradoxically, having many children opened up more opportunities for me to pursue work interests. But critical to this is having amazing bosses who have trusted and guided me, allowing me the space and time to pursue work success and family happiness. Organizations that recognize women who want it all, do well. We will contribute our best to the business, despite having our hearts walking outside our bodies for the most part of everyday!

I am delighted to share that the latest additions to my family have made me a very happy glam-ma!”

-Joni Ong, Managing Director, Great Place to Work® ASEAN/ANZ

 

To all Mothers and the people who rally behind them, HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

Xyris Tapia

Xyris loves to look at life through a broader lens. She is a certified bookworm, occasional writer, intrepid traveler and design enthusiast. She likes to create and breathe vibrancy to things. When not organizing events, she is a content contributor for GPTW PH and likewise handles corporate matters. A happy wife and a doting mom, she finds joy in unique experiences and believes that everyone has the potential for greatness.

Great Place To Work® has been surveying employees around the world about their workplace experiences for 30 years. We have developed a set of themes and metrics that not only predict whether employees feel their workplace is great, but predict retention, agility, and overall business success.

Using our proprietary Trust Index™ survey, we measure the core of what we know creates great workplaces — key behaviors that drive trust in management, connection with colleagues, and loyalty to the company.

The survey enables employees to share confidential quantitative and qualitative feedback about their organization’s culture by responding to 60 statements on a five-point scale and answering two open-ended questions.

Employees tell us whether leaders are accessible, communicate honestly and clearly, and if their actions match their words. They tell us whether they feel respected as individuals, if they receive training benefits, appreciation, support for their well-being and opportunities to contribute. They tell us whether they believe their company is fair related to pay, profits, promotions, recognition, favoritism and opportunities. They tell us if they are proud of their work, their team, and their company and if they feel they make a difference, and their work is meaningful. And they tell us whether they enjoy the people they work with, feel cared for and can be themselves.

List rankings are based on this employee feedback, which we analyze to determine the extent to which this experience is shared by the full workforce. Great Place To Work measures the differences in survey responses across demographic groups and roles within each organization to assess both the quality and consistency of the employee experience. Statements are weighted according to their relevance in describing the most important aspects of an equitable workplace.

The best companies create great work experiences not just for management, but also for their part-time employees on the front lines, for those who’ve just joined and those who’ve spent their whole career there, for every race and ethnicity, gender, neurotype, or other demographic in the organization – we look at it all. Companies with the broadest set of employees who report positive workplace experience receive the highest rankings on lists.
In addition to analyzing employee feedback for the Best Workplaces™ in Vietnam 2024 list we also consider what a company can tell us about their programs and workplace strategy. Each company also answers six essay questions that provide greater insight into how, and why the organization is great for all people. Responses are rigorously evaluated and cross-reviewed according to Great Place To Work’s research-driven criteria. From what companies share in datapoints and essays, we identify the organizations that offer the most generous, caring and innovative programs reflecting a genuine commitment to meet the diversity of their people’s needs inside and outside the workplace as validated by what employees themselves report in survey results.

Surveys must meet strict requirements for how they are distributed and the percentage of employees who respond to ensure they accurately represent honest feedback from the company’s full population. While essay responses provide important context for rankings, only survey data can garner a list placement. In the last year, Great Place To Work® surveyed companies employing more than 135,000 people in Vietnam and received more than 125,000 survey responses.

Great Place To Work identifies Best Workplaces in Asia™ by surveying 2.1 million employees in Asia and the Middle East about the key factors that create great workplaces for all and analyzing company workplace programs impacting 5.9 million employees in the region.

To be considered, companies must first be identified as outstanding in their local region by appearing on one or more of our Best Workplaces lists in Bahrain, Greater China (including China, Hong Kong and Taiwan), India, Indonesia, Japan, Kuwait, Oman, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, UAE, Vietnam during 2022 or early 2023.

Companies rank in three size categories: Small and Medium (10-499 employees); Large (500+); and Multinational. Multinational organizations are also assessed on their efforts to create great workplaces across multiple countries in the region. They must appear on at least two national lists in Asia and the Middle East and have at least 1,000 employees worldwide with at least 40% (or 5,000+) of those employees located outside the headquarters country.

To determine the 2022 Vietnam Best Workplaces™, Great Place To Work®️ analyzed confidential survey feedback representing nearly 20,000 employees across different industries in Vietnam. Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a Great Place To Work For All™️.

85% of the evaluation is based on what employees say about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do. Great Place To Work analyzes these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce make up, and what’s typical in their industry. The remaining 15% of the rank is based on an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of innovation, the company’s values, and the effectiveness of their leaders, to ensure they’re consistently experienced.

To be considered, companies had to meet the Great Place To Work-Certified™ standard. To ensure survey results truly represent all employees, Great Place To Work requires that Trust Index©️ survey results are accurate to a 95% confidence level with a 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results. 

Companies with 10-99 people were considered for the Small category, companies with 100-999 people were considered for the Medium category and companies with 1000+ people were considered for the Large category.