Mother’s Day is more than a day for family members to surprise mom with breakfast in bed, flowers, or a “break” from the kids. It’s a day to recognize the joys and struggles of motherhood, whether being a stay-at-home mom or mothering while working.
In 2020, women were paid 83 cents to every dollar paid to men. Black women were paid 64 cents to the dollar, and Hispanic women 57 cents. Discrimination and an increased likelihood that women work lower-earning jobs are the most significant contributors to these numbers. Mothers bear an even heavier burden.
We’re taught not to discuss children and family at work because it would be “unprofessional.” We know not to reveal pregnancies during job interviews because it may impact hiring decisions. Let’s not even get into the misconception that strong-willed men are confident and assertive, whereas strong-willed women are bossy and challenging to work with.
A quick Google search reveals countless articles relating to motherhood and work: if and how you should inform an interviewer of your pregnancy in an interview, the discrimination that working mothers face, and the legal rights of pregnant employees. Mothers are assumed to be less flexible and focused on work than childfree employees. Those who took time off to raise their children have gaps in their resumes that can harm their employability — the pandemic has only exacerbated this.
Companies and hiring managers are missing out. Balancing work and family, taking time off to raise children, and using personal days to care for sick children are not signs of weakness in an employee. They show compassion, time management, prioritization, communication, and adaptability — soft skills translating to any workplace.
Working moms often balance their careers with household organization, finances, childcare, and event coordination — and are only paid for the career part.
Stay-at-home mothers are just as skilled. They may manage finances, coordinate events and activities, maintain the inventory of food and supplies, and organize the household. These skills can appear on a resume alongside interpersonal communication skills, problem-solving, and critical thinking. Being a mother should make someone more qualified, not less.
In the spirit of Mother’s Day, we collected some love letters from Knockri employees to their mothers. We want to celebrate the impact of all mothers, whether working in a company, from home, or as a mother.
To the single mother:
Besides always being there when I need a hug, I would say that my mom is one of the hardest working and determined people I know. For a large part of my upbringing, she was a single mom providing for many of our needs, all while running her own custom drapery business. She also laughs a lot and introduced me to a lot of amazing music! Love you, mom!
– Lauren Ashmore, Digital Marketing Manager
To the immigrant mother:
My father passed away when I was 3-months and my brother was 2-years old, so my mother raised us from a very young age. She came to Canada in the 1980s as a refugee and while her background is in Accounting, her degree was not recognized by the Canadian government even though she earned it in her second language of English.
My mother made many sacrifices in her life so she could have the flexibility to be with us. Although we struggled growing up, she made sure to enroll us in as many activities as you could think of, from karate and horseback riding to ballet and soccer. She instilled in us a love for family and travel by taking us to new places and connecting us to our global family. I owe everything to my mother, and she continues to be my greatest source of inspiration.
– Onita Hakimi, Product Manager
To the mother working at home:
My mom has always been a person I could count on. She moved from full-time work at an accounting firm to self-employment so she could stay home to raise my sister and me. She was that mom who came on all our field trips, watched Saturday morning cartoons with us, learned all about the characters we were obsessed with, and stayed up to help with homework and science fair projects.
We’ve had our ups and downs, but now that I’m going through being an adult on my own, I have a new appreciation for all she did. I’m still not sure how she kept up with everything around the house, finances, school events, pets, and helping out our grandparents and still found the time to make so many memories with us. Mothering comes with so much worry, doubt, and fear about doing things right. But Mom, we did it!
– Emilie Miranda, Content Creator
To the self-employed mother:
My mom is one of my biggest inspirations. Throughout my life, she has alternated between working and taking care of us at home. Now, even past the age of retirement, she still runs her own business.
I have always been inspired by how much she takes on and how positive she has always remained. Her empathy, selflessness, and constant care for others, no matter what is going on, have taught me many lessons and continue to inform how I act now, both personally and professionally.
I don’t really enjoy hallmark holidays that tell us we have to buy gifts or spend money for a certain day, but I value the reminder and reflection that it gives to help us appreciate the important people in our lives and those that have supported us- whether that be your biological mother or just someone who has taken on that supportive role in your life.
– Micha Baltman, UX/UI Designer
To the stay-at-home mother:
When my family moved to Canada, my mom made the decision to leave her job and focus on raising and taking care of my older siblings and me full-time. I never really understood how much work went into making sure everything was always super organized, clean, and efficient for us. To me, it was just the norm, and in a way, I took it for granted.
Looking back, I understand and appreciate all that she did for us to make sure we were thriving and cared for and that our well-being was always prioritized. She taught me that although society pressures us to have a successful corporate career, choosing to be a stay-at-home mother can be as important and honorable. She inspired me to not tie my worth to what job or title I have and to emphasize the important things in life — caring for and spending time with our loved ones.
– Amber Lahav, Brand Designer
From a father:
Life can get hard, and things can get tough,
And sometimes you’ll think that you don’t have enough!
Whether you are stuck in a rut or on top of your game,
A mother will be there and bring her A-game.
She’ll make you confident and remove all your doubts,
Then you’ll take on the world and win countless bouts.
I will only ever have outsider knowledge of what it feels like to be a mother. But as a son and now a father, I have learned a lot about the dynamic relationship between a mother and her child. A mother holds one of the greatest powers, if not the greatest power, on Earth. Mothers have the ability to truly guide and mold how another person learns to think, feel, and behave in this world.
Mothers are considered the trusted source for guidance and have an innate altruistic identity. Their only goal is their children’s success, and support is unconditional. Nothing can come close to the bond that a mother and child share. A mother has the extraordinary power to make a difference in someone else’s life.
To all the mothers in the world, we thank you for all that you do from the bottom of our hearts. I hope today gives you time to reflect and rejoice about all the positive and beautiful energy you give to this world.
– Dave Mayers, Industrial-Organizational Psychologist
To the mothers holding their baby/ies tight through difficult times:
I recently wept as I watched the main character in the Netflix show MAID, a single mother, hold her daughter tight while struggling to survive.
I immediately picked up the phone and called my mom. That scene brought me back to my mom holding me tight through very different but dire circumstances. I thought about her holding me as we fled our country, holding me as we crossed the border to safety, and, as always, holding me tight when we landed in Canada to start all over again.
To the mothers holding their baby/ies through difficult times, know that as a child held by a mother through what felt like unbearable times, what I choose to remember is not the situation but the safety of my mom’s arms, her strength, her resilience, and, most of all, her unconditional love. I will be forever grateful to my mom (and dad, but more on him for Father’s Day) for holding me tight through the most difficult times and shaping the person I am today.
– Melissa Erkic, Director of Customer Success and Growth
As a mother:
I remember the day I swore to never be a foreigner. I was sitting in the living room working on my grade 2 Hebrew homework while my Argentinian mom tried to help me but couldn’t. I remember feeling sorry for her. I made a promise never to do this to my kids.
Fast forward to today, my eldest is in grade 2, and thanks to the internet and Google translate, I am able to help her with her English homework. But even though I take advantage of the internet, I recognize that look in her eyes whenever she asks me how to spell something. I had the same one.
For me, mother’s day is like my birthday. I am celebrating the person I became when I gave birth. And as for the promise that I made to my eight-year-old self, now I look at my mom in a completely different way. I think she was brave to move to a new country, seeking a better future for us, and I’m proud to say that I followed her lead.
Hopefully, when my little ones grow up, they will look at me the same way.
– Inbal Sarig, Director of Growth Marketing
It’s one thing to appreciate mothers and another to take a critical look at their experience in the workplace and try to improve it. Motherhood shouldn’t be a strike against an applicant in the hiring process or a barrier to employment.
This situation is one of many examples in which the Knockri assessment levels the playing field to make the employee selection process fair for all. We don’t assess candidates based on their gender or age. Instead, we evaluate their skills and behaviors, which are not dependent on whether someone has children or not.
Our pre-employment assessments can be taken anywhere, on any device, at any time — including the quiet hours before the kids wake up. Book a demo with our HR Solutions Consultant today to learn more about how our assessments benefit candidates and recruiters.