Ep 129. Jamie Ladge and Danna Greenberg: Maternal Optimism
“Who do you want to be as a working mother?”
Jamie Ladge and Danna Greenberg are co-authors of Maternal Optimism: Forging Positive Paths through Work and Motherhood. Jamie Ladge is a Professor of Management and Organizational Development at Northeastern University. Her research explores the psychological and career implications of working parents. Danna Greenberg is a Professor of Organizational Behavior at Babson College. She studies work/life transitions. Their work has been published in top management and human resources journals and in the popular press.
Stew talks with Jamie and Danna about their findings, including the ways in which the transition to motherhood (and fatherhood) can, despite popular notions, have a salutary effect on your work life. They’ve found that many mothers report becoming more empathic toward coworkers and that, forced to prioritize, they tend to delegate more to others, thereby helping to develop people at work. Ladge and Greenberg found there is no one-size-fits all solution; every working family requires a different set of solutions and these vary over the course of the life cycle. Talking with others, including those at work, helps you to see not only that you are not struggling alone, but that there are countless workable strategies; you have to figure out what works right now for your own unique family circumstances. What is essential is to have a personal vision, to understand your own identity and who you want to be as a working parent. As a working mother, you have to muster the courage to choose what is right for you, at this moment.