Secrets From Mums In Leadership

Mums: the COO of any household. They hold the secrets of managing the home so that families everywhere can operate smoothly. But progress on getting women placed into top leadership roles is slow-moving with are only nine female CEOs and 10 women chairing boards in the ASX 200.

Although the gender pay gap has slightly narrowed, women are still under-represented at an executive level. Despite evidence that female leaders are good for business with a link between firm profitability and women in leadership roles, Diversity Council Australia reported a 17 per cent loss in lifetime wages for women raising children.

   

Tips to help you care for your family while trailblazing the boardroom.

Australia is pushing hard to seat more women in leadership roles and WorkScore hope to see more mums step up. For those wondering if this is possible and manageable, we have found tips to help you care for your family while trailblazing the boardroom. Some of the most successful women share their secrets:

‘Doing it all’ is a myth: 

Mums might think that double success means doubling their to-do list. The solution is quite the opposite. In Drop the Ball, author Tiffany Dufu says, “Leveraging our highest and best use means employing what we’re good at and focusing on the tasks only we ourselves can do in order to realize [sic] our greatest goals and priorities.”

One of the most influential women in Australia, Gail Kelly, agrees that trying to do everything gets you nowhere. “If I’m going to a school concert, that’s what I’m doing. I turn the phone off. I actively tune into whatever I’m doing,” says Kelly. So, focus and be present—your family, your career and your mind will thank you for it.

Delegating is no sin:

You can’t give 100 per cent to 100 things all the time. To stop herself from doing it all, Business Chicks CEO, Emma Isaacs, employs delegation efficiently. “I don’t do housework… My husband is niftier in the kitchen than I am, so he cooks more than I do. We have a cleaner too, and I’m a mad online grocery addict,” says Isaacs.

There’s nothing wrong with letting go of tasks at work too. As founder and CEO of Boost Juice, Janice Allis, said, “Surround yourself with great people.” And Uber executive, Rachel Holt adds, “delegate and trust people more.” So, lower your stress levels and be more productive by increasing trust in those around you and delegating more.

What we carry in our minds impacts our actions.

Attitude is everything:

In math, negative numbers go backwards—same with attitudes. That’s why the author of Unfinished Business, Anne-Marie Slaughter, advises women to avoid negative words like ‘juggling work and family’. Our words might not change our circumstances, but it does a lot to affect our thinking. Simple equation: positive words equal positive thoughts.

Indeed, what we carry in our minds impacts our actions. Arianna Huffington attributes a positive attitude to her success and advises against holding grudges as it is “one of the most draining things you can do.” Emma Isaacs adds, “a thought can literally change how you feel and look and the results you get from life.”

Keep empowering yourself with these three secrets and buck the slow-moving trend by getting more mothers on leadership’s top rungs.