Happy International Women’s Day!
This year’s theme is “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world”. With so many women on the frontlines and in careers that have been disproportionately affected by this pandemic, we wanted to take the time to celebrate women leading the charge in the workplace and highlight how they have adapted and prevailed during this difficult time without sacrificing their careers. From nurses to teachers, scientists, caregivers, and corporate CEOs, women have truly felt the crushing pressure that has come with COVID-19 and we want to recognize them and continue to shed light on the need for equal rights and pay for women. The past year has especially been a unique struggle for working moms. With schools and daycares being closed, the burden has fallen on women to provide full-time care and homeschooling during the day for their children while continuing to hold down a job. These women, against the odds, have proven that they are capable of continuing their work, contributing to society, raising social awareness, making positive changes in the world, and shaping the future. They #ChooseToChallenge stereotypes and push for gender equality on the job front and we support and appreciate all of the amazing (15) female XDSers and female leaders that we work with every day. Here is a look at how some of our own team members and business associates have managed the work-life balance and have continued to lead during these difficult and uncertain times.
We need more women and people with diverse backgrounds at every table…
Women’s full participation and leadership in all areas of life drive progress for all people. Women want and deserve a future that is equitable, sustainable, and peaceful with opportunities for all, not just women. To get us there, we need more women and people with diverse backgrounds at every table where decisions are being made.
~ Lori Melançon, Chief Communications Officer, Rubius Therapeutics
The pandemic has created more visibility into the lives of working moms…
This pandemic has been challenging for everyone, not just for moms. And although these are trying times, I want to express my gratitude to have employment with an amazing company and my health and the health of my family, which shouldn’t be taken for granted when so many people have been negatively impacted. And I am grateful for so much time with my firstborn while she is young, that I may not have otherwise had. I think these times have shown us all just how important flexibility is – on both the part of companies and the employee. And I think that is going to go a long way after the pandemic. Working from home has made me more productive in both places. There’s also been a lot more “rolling with the punches”. The downside is that creating a work-life balance is more difficult, you have to work harder to create those boundaries, because “work” is just in the next room. I also think the pandemic has created more visibility into the lives of working moms, and I am hoping with that comes more opportunities for women. We’ve proven that it may look a little different for us, but we can get it done!
~ Marissa Hanify, Director, Corporate Communications, Rubius Therapeutics
Being a first-time mom during a global pandemic has been uniquely difficult…
Being a first-time mom during a global pandemic has been uniquely difficult yet positive at the same time. The difficult: Because I am working from home, meetings tend to be scheduled much earlier and much later than the usual 8 am – 5 pm. When meetings start earlier than 8 am, I make sure to block the end of the workday with a personal meeting. This guarantees me one hour free of meetings, so I can catch up on emails while my son plays next to me. To manage the never-ending cooking (and cleaning up) for meals, we’ve adjusted our grocery shopping to allow for a couple of dinners and/or lunches per week to be delivery/take-out. It’s more than we usually do, but we like the idea of supporting our local restaurants! The positive: I’m usually on the road 15-20% of the time and was nervous going on trips (1-3 nights) while my son was still a small baby. With COVID-19, I am lucky that these in-person meetings have turned into (more) conference calls.
~ Emily Seo, Sr. Manager – Market Development, Marketing, Intersect ENT
While not wanting to sacrifice my children’s education, I also did not want to lose footing in my career…
Adapting to being a working mom during COVID-19 has been quite the adjustment. The kids are home and an unexpected burden fell on me to make sure they were logged in, completing work, and overall, learning. Juggling multiple kids’ schedules and essentially being their teacher, caretaker, cook, guidance counselor, tutor, recess aid, and oh yea, also their mom has uprooted my carefully planned and strategically mapped out daily schedule. While not wanting to sacrifice my children’s education, I also did not want to lose footing in my career. Mentally it was a challenge to keep it all together. What I have learned about being a working mother during COVID-19 is to let go of my preconceived notions of a rigid work schedule and disciplined schooling. The work will get done, learning will be achieved, it just looks a little different these days. Adapting and being flexible with what my new normal has become and rearranging my day to accommodate that normal has been the key to staying focused and successful. When it comes to achieving an equal future during these trying times, I do worry that women overall will be judged in their abilities to work and handle the homeschool factor simultaneously. However, I think the world is seeing firsthand how strong women can be despite the additional challenges these times have brought on.
~ Kristin Rockhill, Marketing, The Experience Design Studio