Understanding the Needs of a Working Mom: Advice for Employers from Two DeWinter Group “Super Moms”

7 months ago

Being a mom is tough. It’s even more stressful when you are a full-time professional. The DeWinter Group’s Partner, Derek DeWinter, recently sat down with two of the company’s “Super Moms” to understand what matters most to moms before, during, and after taking a maternity leave.

Managing employees is tough. Managing employees who are becoming moms can be even tougher. It’s not that you do not want them to be happy, but as employers it is easy to feel torn between excitement for your employee and fear. Fear that your employee will not want to come back. Fear that your business will no longer be a priority, and as a result, that individual will be less dedicated, less focused, and less productive at work. Fear that it will ultimately hurt your bottom line.

On the flip side, as a working professional, becoming a mom can be an intimidating life choice. Genetically speaking, you know you were built to have children and have a limited time frame to safely do so, but working is one of the most fulfilling parts of our day. Not only do we feel empowered to support ourselves financially when we work, working also gives us a sense of pride and purpose. Therefore the decision to become a mother generally isn’t taken lightly because we realize we are introducing a new priority into our lives which threatens competing priorities we still highly value.

At the DeWinter Group, we have a team of truly awesome moms. We have tenured moms and first-time moms. Not only are the women consistently top producers professionally here at the DeWinter Group, they also are considered by many to be “Super Moms.” So in honor of Mother’s Day, we decided to sit down with two of our office’s “super moms” to learn more about what an employer can do and what we have done to make them feel comfortable before, during, and after becoming moms.

Meet Vicky Costa

Manager, DeWinter Consulting & Mother of Two

Vicky Costa joined the DeWinter Group’s contract and interim placement division, DeWinter Consulting, in September 2016. At the time, she was already a mom to a beautiful baby girl. Vicky is now the proud mom of two.

What tips do you have for employers managing women entering motherhood based on your experience with the DeWinter Group?

My experience taking maternity leave with the DeWinter Group was truly the best that it could have been. I found out I was pregnant three days before I was supposed to start. It’s always stressful preparing to tell your employer that you are pregnant and going to need a few months off, let alone when it is right as you start a new job. When I finally announced that I was pregnant, they were genuinely happy for me. They never once made me feel as though I should be ashamed for getting pregnant as I was starting this new career with the company. When a company demonstrates that they understand the excitement that is associated with growing your family, it demonstrates to me that they truly care about you as a person, not simply as an employee.

The second tip I have for employers is to accept and respect your employee’s time off as they are caring for the new baby. The DeWinter Group never once pressured me to work while I was taking time off which made me feel less stressed in an already stressful situation. Because I was able to prioritize my family during my leave, I couldn’t wait to come back to work and felt rejuvenated when I did.

The last tip is to proactively offer flexibility without recourse. When you come back, oftentimes employers say you have the flexibility to come and go as you need to. Then after you take time off, they or your team make you feel guilty. At DWG, I was constantly asked if I needed half days (even without me asking for it). Both the management and my team members were supportive and always checking to make sure I was okay. Their compassion and understanding drove me to want to work more.

Meet Meghan Hanson

Managing Director, DeWinter Associates & Mother of Two

Meghan Hanson joined the DeWinter Group’s contingent staffing division, DeWinter Associates, in 2015. When she joined the DeWinter Group, her firstborn son was 5 months old. Today, Meghan is the proud mom of two sons and was named one of DeWinter Associates’ 2018 Top Producers.

What were your first thoughts as a woman regarding your decision to join the DeWinter Group?

The DeWinter Group’s San Francisco office is an extremely young culture. Not many people have children. I wasn’t sure if my team members would understand when I had to take time off for my children. It was also somewhat intimidating joining an organization led by solely men. I knew they had a strong reputation and had nothing but positive experiences speaking with the partners, but you never know in these situations.

That being said,  I cannot express how much I appreciated the team and leadership here at the DeWinter Group when I became a mother again for the second time and continued my journey as a working mom. It’s been really positive and for that I’m very grateful.

What tips do you have for employers managing women entering motherhood based on your experience with the DeWinter Group?

The first thing that I loved about having a child while working at the DeWinter Group was the empathy I received. They told me to do what I needed to do to be comfortable and that caring for myself and my baby came first. Not only did they remind me time and time again that I came first, they actually meant it. I also never felt rushed to come back to work.

The second tip I would provide to employers is to practice inclusion. When you go on maternity leave it can feel extremely isolating or as though you are falling behind. When I left and had my second child, I felt as though my team actually missed me here. They did an amazing job of keeping me in the loop. When I came back, they also worked with me when scheduling team happy hours because as one of the few with children, they knew my schedule was insane.

The last tip I have for employers is to proactively practice balance. Before I had children, I was in the office before 8 AM and left after 6:00 PM every day. My managers here knew I was a hard worker and that I held myself to extremely high standards. They told me as I was easing back into work to have no expectations for myself at the beginning. Not that I wasn’t going to be doing the work I was supposed to, but they wanted me to take my time readjusting without the stress and pressure of metrics looming above my head. They gave me time to ramp back up. The entire team was there to support me too. They didn’t view helping me catch up as annoying or time-consuming; they truly wanted to help.

How has the DeWinter Group’s support made you a better employee?  

The DeWinter Group’s support throughout the entire process empowered me to be myself when I am recruiting. It empowers me to be honest and supportive of other professional women who are or expect to be working moms. I definitely carry over this mentality when coaching the candidates I work with as well as clients. By understanding an employee and employer’s expectations when it comes to motherhood, I can create effective matches which are more likely to last over the long term.


To share your story or learn more regarding the DeWinter Group, contact us!