“MOTHERS IN TECH”

“Managing children, work, house and one’s own health altogether, the “juggle” and the “struggle” is real for working moms!”

The percentage of mothers working in the tech sector has significantly increased in the last few years. It has been proven in various research materials again and again that a diverse team is more innovative and successful. Women bringing in their expertise is highly beneficial for any organization/company to flourish. But there is always a high price to pay, especially when those women are mothers.

The relationship of a mother and her child is undoubtedly the most beautiful and the most honest. Children usually become a mother’s top priority but along with that, several women do not have an option of leaving their work as well. Keeping a work-life balance becomes exhausting and it also brings with itself the “Imposter Syndrome” or “Working Mom Guilt” which makes women think that they are missing out on the “quality time” or “good upbringing” of their child. The tension between being a mother and a worker always exists.

But despite all these challenges, history is filled with examples of many women who shattered the ceilings in the tech industry. Following are examples who have set benchmarks in tech:

  • Ada Lovelace: The World’s First Computer Programmer
  • Hedy Lamarr: The Inventor of WiFi
  • Adele Goldberg: The Inspiration For GUI
  • Radia Perlman: The Mother of The Internet
  • Katherine Johnson: The NASA Mathematician

These are just very few examples of mothers who changed the tech world, these days hundreds of thousands of women are working in the sector, helping the economy to grow, and maintaining their personal lives. Such inspirations, really!

So many women even today have given such valuable input in shaping tech sector the way it is today, it wouldn’t be wrong to state that if we remove all women from it right now, the tech industry would easily collapse. Women have dealt with barriers such as discrimination, pay gaps and equal opportunities for promotion, all this and still standing strong, innovating every day, improving and helping us all!

Mother’s Day is more than sending cards and flowers to celebrate motherhood. Motherhood is a job that a woman can never retire from, something that comes with uncountable challenges. To support mothers, we must work towards making space to include mothers of all genders as well as LGBTQIA parents who are underrepresented. Working moms are becoming a norm and it is a responsibility to support this shift in motherhood. While some women opt to take a break from their careers or become stay-at-home mothers, deep down, most of them would like to keep working. Making the choice that’s right for them!

 

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Meet Helen:

Helen Tong is the Project Lead for Dynamo’s Digital Talent Engine. She is a mother of a teenager, Harry (15 years). At work she leads a team to drive collaboration across employers and education providers to more clearly articulate digital career paths. She is passionate about using technology to empower individuals so that society realise their true potential. Outside of work she mentors young people into the world of work, helping and supporting them on their career journey. She loves the outdoors and if she’s not in the garden or at the beach, you can find her walking or wild camping in the Lake District.

 Q. What advice do you have for other women, how to create a healthy environment at home for both your kid and spouse, your relationship and yourself?

A healthy work-life balance is good for your children, your family relationships and you, however, it’s not always an easy thing to get right. So, allow yourself a period of adjustment to try and get the balance right, working with your partner/spouse to set the best routine and structure that works for you all. Quality time spent with your children and loved ones is better than quantity time spent floating around in the background. So when you are in the room, be in the room! And remember, always be kind to yourself and take some time for out to recharge your batteries.

Rapid Fire

Favorite book: Who Moved my Cheese my Dr Spencer Johnson – I wish I’d read it

20+ years ago!

Biggest stress buster: Gardening and walking

Favorite game you play with your family: Cards

Favorite hobby: Photography

Favorite lullaby: Rock-a-Bye Baby

Typical go-to meal: Anything pasta related!

Your best friend when it comes to handling tantrums: My partner Anthony, he’s my calming influence!

 

Meet Elena:

Elena Gorman is a mother of Thea (1 year old) and Charlie (6 years old). She currently lives in the North East and works as the Digital Talent Engine Manager at Dynamo. Her strongest attribute is her infectious, cheerful personality which boosts the spirit and morale of everyone else around her. In her free time she makes floral wedding accessories, is writing and illustrating a children’s book, and is learning to code. As a mum in tech she shows up with a clear idea of how to have a work life balance.

Q: Given an option to stay-at-home and enjoy being a mom for your kids, would you leave your job?

I returned to work from maternity leave about 6 months ago, and I love being back at work! I really value the space that my job gives me to focus on my professional self, to meet new people, and to learn new things. I feel that I have a fantastic work-life balance, where work enriches my role as a mother, and my role as a mother enriches my work.

Rapid Fire

Favorite book: Life of Pi

Biggest stress buster:  Sewing, mindful colouring, sitting in the garden

Favorite game you play with your family: Tickle monster

Favorite hobby: Sewing!

Favorite lullaby: Hush little baby

Typical go-to meal: Pasta bake with extra cheese

Your best friend when it comes to handling tantrums: Deep breathing and lots of patience!

 

Meet Fareeha

Fareeha is the mother of Kashan (8 year old) and Parivash (6 year old). An Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Innovation Manager at Dynamo & Digital Talent Engine, she is the mind behind the food app Share Karo. She lives in Northumberland and is a passion driven entrepreneur who believes in empowering others to their fullest potential using tech for good. A natural born leader that carves out time to help others with no expectation other than for us to all succeed together.

 Q. What advice do you have for other women, how to create a healthy environment at home for both your kid and spouse, your relationship and yourself?

There’s so much to share with this question but I’ll choose one advice and that is to schedule all personal & work-related events around your children.  Lots of social gatherings will come and go, people, relationships will come and go, but your children will always remember when you were there and when you weren’t.  So, I schedule everything around their activities, school, sports, extracurricular activities, birthdays, playdates etc. Having everything pre-planned and present in calendar at least 1-3 months in advance helps a lot in maintaining a healthy, non-spontaneous environment! It’s also a team effort, remember that! Even the kids play a role in maintaining that healthy environment. There’s always a way, you just have to find it even if it takes a lot of sacrifices and failures, don’t ever quit. Eventually you will have your ‘all’ as defined by you. Failing to do something is inevitable but giving up is not an option.

Rapid Fire

Favorite book: Daughter of Destiny – Benazir Bhutto

Biggest stress buster: Talking out loud with my husband over a warm cup of chai.

Favorite game you play with your family: Ludo

Favorite hobby: Reading, writing, cooking, watching netflix

Favorite lullaby: Lukka Chuppi

Typical go-to meal: Biryani, Daal, roti, Bhindi Sabzi

Your best friend when it comes to handling tantrums: Smiling at my kids or holding them close to my chest.

 

 

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Blog by: The Digital Talent Engine Team

Helen Tong, Elena Gorman and Fareeha Usman

 

“This work forms the part of The Digital Talent Engine Project funded by The North of Tyne Combined Authority”

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