Embracing Motherhood in STEM: Lessons from Inspirational Moms
other’s Day is a time to celebrate and honor the incredible mothers in our lives. In the world of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), where gender disparities and work-life balance challenges persist, it is crucial to recognize the achievements and experiences of STEM moms. In this article, we will combine insights from five inspiring blogs written by D. Sangeeta, Dana Ginn, Ami Radunskaya, Isabel Torres, Michele Mehl and Marie Lalleman. These remarkable women share their personal journeys, challenges, and lessons learned as they navigate the intersection of motherhood and careers in STEM.
Lessons from a STEM Mom D. Sangeeta, founder and CEO of Gotara, reflects on her experiences as a STEM mom and shares valuable lessons for new moms in STEM. She emphasizes the importance of trusting one’s instincts, building a support network, fostering independence in children, prioritizing key moments with family, and involving children in career decisions. Sangeeta’s perspective as a trailblazer in balancing motherhood and a successful career in STEM inspires other moms to navigate their unique journeys with confidence and determination.
Redefining “Normal” as a Working Mom in STEM Dana Ginn addresses the concept of “Mom Guilt” and societal pressures faced by working mothers. Sharing personal anecdotes, Dana illustrates how she redefined her own version of “normal.” By deflecting societal expectations and accepting help when needed, she was able to find a balance between her career and single motherhood. Dana’s story encourages moms to define their own path and embrace their unique definitions of success.
Pursuing Passions in STEM and Motherhood Ami Radunskaya, a mathematics professor and accomplished cellist, exemplifies the resilience and determination of STEM moms. Juggling a career in mathematics, pursuing musical passions, and being a single mother, Ami shares her life lessons. Her persistence, coupled with the support of friends and family, helped her overcome challenges and achieve success in multiple domains. Ami’s story encourages mothers to follow their passions, embrace their stubborn streak, and seek support from their loved ones.
Breaking the Maternal Wall in STEM Isabel Torres, co-founder of Mothers in Science, sheds light on the challenges faced by working mothers in STEM. She highlights the pervasive issue of the maternal wall, where biases and discrimination against mothers hinder career advancement. Isabel’s global survey reveals shocking statistics and stories of women facing obstacles due to motherhood. She advocates for public policies that promote equality, the creation of supportive work environments, and raising awareness about the barriers faced by working moms in STEM.
Michele Mehl, the co-founder and CEO of Excy, demonstrates the significant impact STEM moms can make in their fields. Her entrepreneurial journey began while she was pregnant with her now 16-year-old son, and she took a unique approach when starting Excy. At the age of 9, she asked her son for permission before taking the entrepreneurial leap, which turned out to be one of the best decisions she ever made. This buy-in allowed her to navigate the challenges of an entrepreneurial life, including missing sporting events, extensive travel, long hours, working during vacations, and dealing with distractions. By obtaining her son’s permission, she also freed herself from societal working mom guilt.
Marie mentioned in our taratalk that she experienced feelings of guilt and a sense of failing in both her roles as a mother and a professional. She described moments when she would be with her children and feel the urge to attend to work-related matters urgently, or when she was at work and worried about appointments or responsibilities at home. This internal struggle created a perception of not doing enough in either role. However, she emphasized that despite these feelings, she did not slow down her career and actually received various promotions during that time. The sense of guilt and the pressure to achieve perfection in both career and home life can contribute to mom guilt and create additional stress for women. Key learnings about mom guilt from Marie: Prioritize choices, be compassionate, seek support, set boundaries, practice self-care, let go of unnecessary guilt.
As we celebrate Mother’s Day, we honor the strength, resilience, and accomplishments of STEM moms. Through the insights shared by these women, we gain a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by STEM moms and the strategies they employ to thrive in their careers while nurturing their families.
To all of the forward-thinking employers, request a demo with Gotara today to understand how to better support and leverage the talent of working moms in STEM, creating a balanced and productive work environment.
To all women navigating the intersection of motherhood and STEM, join Gotara today to connect with inspiring moms like you, gain valuable insights, and confidently embark on your unique journey.