The Longest Shortest Time

EPISODE #143: It’s A Real Mother, Part 3: The Cliff

Three episodes into our working moms series, I realized there’s a reason this discrimination stuff is so… under my skin: it’s a topic I’ve been thinking about for years.

In my twenties, I MacGyvered my way into an exhilarating career as a freelance radio reporter and producer. I loved the rush of finding a great story, the race to the deadline…

Then one day, I looked up at everyone around me. And I thought, Wait a minute. Where are all the moms? Why is nobody here a mom?

A few years later, I got pregnant. And I figured out the answer to that question.

Too often, women face a giant career cliff when they become mothers. So I sent producer Kristen Clark on a mission, deep in the New Hampshire woods, to track down a company that actually supports new parents.

One of Stephanie Ritchie’s twins, hard at work.

Ryon Clarke and his daughter Willa, chatting up a coworker.

Tune in to find out how this workplace is embracing babies―literally―and why they think it makes good business sense to invite screaming, pooping infants into the office.

Make YOUR workplace more family-friendly!
If you want to learn more about setting up a program like Badger’s in your workplace, check out the Parenting in the Workplace Institute. They have tons of resources and best practices to help you figure out how.

Where Are the Mothers? is an article by Nieman fellow Katherine Goldstein that asks the exact same question I was asking early in my journalism career. The article’s focused on how newsrooms can better support moms with young kids, but the ideas and strategies apply across a lot of different fields. There’s even a case study of women who lobbied The New York Times for better parental leave policies!

Finally, if you’re an employer or HR manager: consider partnering with the It’s Working Project―an organization that helps companies support and retain moms (and all working parents).

It’s A Real Mother

Discrimination against working moms is a real mother of a problem. But you can help. Listen to all the episodes of our series and find out what YOU can do – no matter who you are here.

If you’ve experienced discrimination in the workplace as a pregnant person or parent and need help, we’ve got resources for you here.

Hillary and Sasha (featured image): Richard Frank. Ryon and Willa: courtesy of W.S. Badger