Family or Career: A choice I didn’t have to make.
As a young woman, the idea of starting a family can be terrifying – especially when it comes to your career. There are so many reasons to feel as though it is one or the other, societal pressure, other peoples’ opinions – and often, workplaces that view maternity leave and motherhood as a burden.
So, what do you do when you have started a new job that you love, and only a couple of months in find out that you’re pregnant? Hide it from your employer for as long as possible? Come up with a million backup plans? Struggle through and stress yourself out?
Well, that was my situation in June 2022 – only, I had another option.
I was lucky enough to work for a company that values Clarity, Curiosity and best of all Candor.
This value of Candor at PACE.global means that we are encouraged to openly and honestly communicate with our team members. When we disagree, when we cannot possibly put any more work on our plate, or need a break – we know we can communicate this. Candor has influenced many of our discussions and decisions and allows everyone who works with us, to be honest about their own limitations and concerns.
How does the value of Candor relate to my pregnancy?
Well, pregnancy is hard. I knew about nausea, migraines, dizziness, exhaustion, and the pressure of growing an actual human being, but I didn’t know just how overwhelming it could all feel at some points. Knowing that I could be candid when I was struggling, and ask for support when needed – was an incredible thing to have during those months. So, when I needed to start my maternity leave a little earlier than expected, I said so, without any fear or guilt – and was met with support. Something new parents are always in need of.
Further, I was never made to feel like my pregnancy or maternity leave was a burden. Instead, I was encouraged to ensure I had the balance I needed to do my most important job. Growing my daughter.
Of course, there are other things about PACE that have been so helpful during my pregnancy. Remote work and flexibility in my schedule feel like absolute lifesavers some days. But, in the end, it truly is the value of candor as well as the pro-woman, pro-parent culture that has allowed me to thrive where others may have felt incredible stress and guilt.
Now, heading into my maternity leave, I feel like I am leaving a workplace that appreciated and supported me. But, over and above that – I am already incredibly excited to return to work in a few months. Because I know that I will be coming back to a company that makes being a working mom so much easier.
Because of the environment here at PACE.global I get to have motherhood and a career without any guilt.
So, a message to all managers and companies. Consider Candor as a value for your company, and really push your people to express that value. We are all human, with limitations. Taking the fear and guilt away from those limitations builds a more confident work environment. Furthermore, If you support the women and parents on your team, you will get more from them! Leave is temporary – but an employee who feels supported and respected isn’t.
And to Neha and the PACE team – Thank you! I can honestly say that I am already looking forward to my return to work in a few months!