Mother's Day is approaching, and we got to thinking about women's issues in the workplace. With childcare costs soaring to ridiculous heights, it's no wonder that women have been "opting out" of the workplace.
Or so we thought.
On Wednesday, the Pew Research Center released a study that showed that only 10% of moms with professional degrees were "opting out" to stay at home with the kids. Which lead to this thought: with 90% of mothers with professional degrees out in the job market, law firms should be hiring more moms. And here's why.
1. Good at Cleaning Up Messes
One of the skills a mom (reluctantly) picks up is cleaning up messes -- constantly. When you think about what lawyers do, we clean up adult messes. Whether it's a business deal gone wrong, or an accident, no one ever calls lawyers up with good news. People only want lawyers when there's a problem -- and a big legal mess -- to clean up. Oh, and if that's not enough, women are more ethical than men (don't shoot the messenger).
2. Great Negotiating Skills
Take any mom who has gone through the infamous toddler years, and you will be looking at a seasoned negotiator. One cannot simply ask, or tell, a toddler to do something. It's all a give and take. You want the child to eat? What are you offering? TV time? A toy? One must know precisely what the boundaries are. As someone who has owned her own business and negotiated her own deals, nothing comes close to negotiating with my four-year old.
3. We're Natural Born Leaders
Some people may shy away from the term "bossy," some embrace it, some would rather be called a leader. Whatever the case, moms (often but not always -- we see you supportive dads) are the leaders of their families when it comes to the things that count -- like the wallet and child care. If you are looking for someone that doesn't need any babysitting, hire a mom.
4. Multi-tasking is a Way of Life
Lawyers never just handle one thing at a time. There are always many pending cases and clients to get back to. Well, then if you're looking to hire a new lawyer, bring on a natural born multitasker. According to a study, women are "better at multitasking then men," and if the BBC reports on it, then it must be true (
if it were Fox News we'd be skeptical).
5. We Already Know that "Work-Life Balance" Is a Myth
Moms know that once you have a kid, there is no balance in your life -- mom comes last in just about every category. So, if you want an employee who will dive in head first to projects, and not worry about getting to happy hour on time, mom's your gal.
But seriously, mothers are not afraid of hard work, are loyal and committed. Anyone that can handle a toddler can easily handle clients. Do your part to help talented (fellow) women succeed in law, and consider hiring a mom.
- Getty Images' Lean In Collection Shows Real Women Doing Real Things (FindLaw's Strategist Blog)
- Lean In, Lean Out -- Stop Telling Me Which Way to Lean (FindLaw's Strategist Blog)
- On Female Lawyers at BigLaw and 'Great Expectations' (FindLaw's Greedy Associates Blog)