I recently attended the Everywoman Leadership academy, which I have attended before, but this year one speaker really struck a chord with me.
For the first time I heard a successful female in technology say that having children helped her with her career progression.
Just to be clear I have never heard a female speaker stand up and say that she regrets having children. However, the topic of parenthood is usually something that’s discussed in a negative light in terms of having to take large amounts of time off of work, finding a company that offers flexible hours, ramping off and ramping on in a fast-paced market, trouble staying in touch with colleagues, possibly missing out on promotions or new job opportunities, etc.
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It’s enough to make a young girl think that having children must be career suicide.
BUT discussing game changing moments in her life Everywoman academy speaker Jacqueline de Rojas, vice president and general manager UK and Ireland at CA Technologies, said: “Once my daughter was born, it motivated me to get myself organised and to be clear about what I wanted.
“When I had Stephanie I knew I had to be successful – and I totally believe that I made it because of her. She was then and remains my inspiration today.”
Jacqueline very sincerely stated that she is a success because of her daughter. She made me and possibly other young females in the room realise that it’s ok to have children if you really want.
Obviously the timing on deciding to have family is different for everyone; however I found it encouraging to hear that when I do decide to have children it won’t hinder my career but instead could possibly boost it.