This article originally appeared in the July 2023 issue of Security Business magazine. When sharing, don’t forget to mention Security Business magazine on LinkedIn and @SecBusinessMag on Twitter.
In 2020, I wrote an article about work and life lessons learned from motherhood, and since this will be the second article about motherhood I am writing, you can probably deduce that being a mom is a large part of my life.
Over the past decade, there has been movement to support and encourage the women who make up this industry; and part of that is an emphasis on mothers and the impactful traits that we bring to the workplace. Moms’ skills and traits are within us. We bring those special traits with us everywhere. When our employers and co-workers understand the life skills we bring, the workplace can benefit from moms. Here are a few examples:
1. Time management:
A day in the life of a mother is filled with distractions, conflicting demands, and numerous disruptions, and that is just at the office. Surprisingly, the same interactions happen at home. We have kids pulling us in so many directions that we often realize we have forgotten the first task we started. We are required to prioritize whose needs get our attention first – the screaming toddler who wants a sixth pouch of applesauce or the child who wants to show you how they can blow bubbles in their milk, all while stirring a pot of dinner because if it is burned no one dare touch it.
What these experiences cause mothers to do is make time management second nature; it is something we do not have to think about. We categorize our tasks mentally and the execution happens automatically. As an employer or co-worker, understand that while you may think your request is top priority, there is a valid reason it is being executed in the order it is. It could be her mental space is somewhere else and she knows that if she gives your task her focus, it will not be completed the way it should be. Trust her and her process.
A mother is usually the first one to understand a toddler’s first word or demand. Their grunts and coos sound different to moms than to most other people. As the toddler grows, so does their communication, and a mom grows in her understanding of their evolving language. Once the toddler is a child, an afternoon of random questions and over-energetic moments lets a mom know that her child was most likely stuck inside all day instead of having recess time.
Knowing how verbal and non-verbal cues stem from something deeper translates to the office environment. Moms can read a room by observing and seeing how other people are conducting themselves. When it comes time for her to interact, she speaks clearly and directly. She addresses conflict with calm and precise direction. She handles questions and demands with softness and a need to understand. A mom in the workplace will say the words that apply to what is happening and how to make sure everyone can succeed moving forward.
Moms are usually the main point of contact for school children. We can use our knowledge of what is possible with security systems and structures, as well as the PASS guidelines to advocate for better equipment and procedures. As moms in security, we have the experience in the industry to push for change. We will not take the excuse of “it is too expensive to upgrade/install the security equipment.” We hear that as, “your child’s safety is too expensive” and that does not sit well with us.
Outside of the school safety initiative, we have passion for the things we are involved in at the office. Programs and campaigns are just as important to us as school safety. We sacrifice hours of the day to help a company grow and be profitable.
Brittany Board is Director of Technology Partners for PSA Security Network. Request more info about PSA at www.securityinfowatch.com/10214742.