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A Fine Line: Balancing Motherhood and Career from the Grace Hopper Conference 2015

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This is a workshop given at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing 2015 in Houston, TX by five women. The workshop consisted of very little talking on our part and a lot of interaction by the audience as they broke into small groups. These teams discussed how different roles within their team would respond to unplanned parenting challenges while trying to hold a successful career.

Published in: Career, Lifestyle, Technology
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A Fine Line: Balancing Motherhood and Career from the Grace Hopper Conference 2015

  1. 2015 A fine line: balancing motherhood and career Jade Groen, Neetu Jain, Katie Lewis, Carolyn Rowland, Lilit Yenokyan October 2015 #GHC15 2015
  2. 2015 A fine line • Life is a series of states – Parenting – Career
  3. 2015 Generational • Our parents had different challenges – More women in the workforce today – Men have parenting challenges too
  4. 2015 Let’s Play! • Learn by doing • Balance obligations on both sides CC BY 2.0 https://www.flickr.com/photos/emeryjl/2126342976/
  5. 2015 Rules • Choose a scribe – Document observations to share later • The person with the envelopes is the manager – Assign roles to the rest of your team – Take turns choosing scenarios • Assign based on the letters (person B gets situations that apply to person B). – The whole team: Discuss, resolve, debate – Manager moves the discussion along by choosing another scenario
  6. 2015 Pencils down • How did this exercise make you feel? • What observations did your team make? • What are your takeaways?
  7. 2015 Printing the game • Use the following slides to print your own version of the game to play at work
  8. 2015 Instructions • Printing: – Print game page 1 on cardstock. Cut apart into role cards. Place in “roles” envelope. – Print scenario game pages two-sided flip on long edge. Cut apart and fold in half. Place in “scenarios” envelope. • Tips for playing: – Caution your audience not to play nice. It’s easy to be nice but that’s not reality. This team has a job to do. – Rotate roles part-way through game play so one person isn’t stuck with the manager role. – Leave time for discussion at the end.
  9. You are manager of a technical team. • You have no kids. • You worked harder than others to get here. • You are a tough manager. You are a senior engineer • You have 3 kids. • Paid your dues, want to be there for your kids more. You are a junior engineer. • You are a single parent. • New to the project • Want to make a good impression. You are a mid-level engineer • You have 1 child • Trying to prove you can balance work and home. • You want to move up. You are an intern • You are a workaholic You are a contractor • You have 1 child • You want to get hired permanently. You are manager of a technical team. • You have no kids. • You worked harder than others to get here. • You are a tough manager. You are a senior engineer • You have 3 kids. • Paid your dues, want to be there for your kids more. You are a junior engineer. • You are a single parent. • New to the project • Want to make a good impression. You are a mid-level engineer • You have 1 child • Trying to prove you can balance work and home. • You want to move up. You are an intern • You are a workaholic You are a contractor • You have 1 child • You want to get hired permanently. You are manager of a technical team. • You have no kids. • You worked harder than others to get here. • You are a tough manager. You are a senior engineer • You have 3 kids. • Paid your dues, want to be there for your kids more. You are a junior engineer. • You are a single parent. • New to the project • Want to make a good impression. You are a mid-level engineer • You have 1 child • Trying to prove you can balance work and home. • You want to move up. You are an intern • You are a workaholic You are a contractor • You have 1 child • You want to get hired permanently. You are manager of a technical team. • You have no kids. • You worked harder than others to get here. • You are a tough manager. You are a senior engineer • You have 3 kids. • Paid your dues, want to be there for your kids more. You are a junior engineer. • You are a single parent. • New to the project • Want to make a good impression. You are a mid-level engineer • You have 1 child • Trying to prove you can balance work and home. • You want to move up. You are an intern • You are a workaholic You are a contractor • You have 1 child • You want to get hired permanently. A A A A B B B B C C C C D D D D E E E E F F F F
  10. Discussionquestions •Ifyouhavekids,whatareyour challenges? •Ifnokids,doyoufeelthisisfair?Do youfeelsingledout? •Passthistosomeoneelseonthe teamwhohasadifferentparenting statusfromyou.Howistheirsituation different? Youaremovedtoaposition thatrequiresyoutobeinan on-callrotationeverythree weekforoneweekatatime. Discussionquestions •Howcanyouaddressthiswithyour teammates? •Shouldyourmanagerweighin? •Howcouldyoumakethisworkbetter? •Doesthisundermineyourparticipation ontheteambecauseyouaren’tin theseconversations? Theothermembersofyour projectgooutafterworkto socializeandtotalkaboutthe project. Youhaveplannedmedical leavecomingupsoon,you willbeoutforapproximately 12weeks. Youhavetoleaveat2:30 everyMWFtopickuponeof yourchildrenfromschool Discussionquestions •Howwillyourteamreacttoyour absence? •Howwillyouintegratebackintowork? •Howdoesyourmanagerworkaround yourabsence? •Whatwillyourjoblooklikewhenyou comeback? •Doesanythingchangeifthisismaternity leavevsothermedicalleave? Discussionquestions •Howdoyougetyourworkdone? •Canyoucomeinearly?Howdoesthat impactyourteam? •Howdoesthisimpactyourco- workers? •Couldyoudoyourjobremotelyand howwouldthatimpactyourprojects?
  11. BC D Anyone Anyone F BC DF
  12. Discussionquestions •Howwillyoumanagethisunplanned leavewithanuncleartimeline? •Couldyoustayinvolved? •Howwillyourteamreacttoyour absence? •Howdoesyourmanagerworkaround yourabsence? Youhaveagingparentsand musttakesometimeoffto dealwithamedicalissue.You areclosetoabig deployment. Discussionquestions •Howcanyoujugglethesepriorities? •Canyoudelegatetheworkor negotiateanewdeadline? •Isthisarecurringissue? Youhavetopickupyoursick childfromschoolandstay homewithhimtomorrow. Youoweadeliverabletoyour managerthenextday. Yourchildmissedthebus. Youhaveabigmeetingright now Youunexpectedlyhaveto havesurgeryandwillrequire severalweeksathomefor recovery. Discussionquestions •Canyourspousehelpwithyourchild oriss/healreadyatwork? •Canthemeetingberescheduled? •Whatifyoucannotreachanyoneat worktotellthemaboutthesituation? •Doesyourabsenceimpactyour standingorinfluenceontheproject? Discussionquestions •Howdoyoujuggleyourwork priorities? •Howdoesyourmanagerrespond? •Howdoesyourteamhandleyour absence?
  13. Anyone Anyone BC DF BC DF
  14. Discussionquestions •Howwillthischangeyoursituation? •Howwillyourworklifechange? •Passthistosomeoneelseontheteam withadifferentparentingstatusfrom you.Howisthesituationdifferentfor them? Youjustfoundoutthatyou aregoingtohaveababy. Discussionquestions •Howwillyouintegratethisperson ontotheteam? •Whatarethechallenges? Youarehiringanewmember oftheteam.Thetop candidateisfourmonths pregnant. Youareanewmotherbackto work.Youareplanningto breastfeedandareplanning topumpatwork11amand 3pm. Youdon’thavechildren.You feellikeyouareaskedtodo morebecauseyoudonot havefamilycommitments. Discussionquestions •Howwillyouavoidbeingperceivedasa clock-watcher? •Howwillyouschedulearoundmeetings? •Doesyourjobincludetravel?Howdoes thatimpactyou? •Whatotherchallengeswillyouhave? Discussionquestions •Howcanyoucommunicateyour perceptiontoyourmanagement? •Yourteam?
  15. Anyone Everyone AE BC DF

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