Why NOW is the Time for Women to Pursue their Careers

I’ve spoken openly about my experience as a working mother before — about how I built a thriving career while growing my family. Women may often feel they have to choose between these two options, but what if now is the perfect time for women to thrive professionally?

We recently cohosted one of our regular women in business events at BVOH. At each event, we talk about themes and topics relevant to working women. Our latest topic was limiting beliefs, and each participant shared one of their own. One woman shared, “My limiting belief is that I can’t have both a family and a career.”

I know where she’s coming from. So many women come up against this belief in their lives. But I also know it simply isn’t true, both from my own experience and from the successful working mothers I see every day. Women don’t have to choose.

“Companies are committing to diversity and actively seeking ways to bring more women into leadership positions.”

Conquer Limiting Beliefs

Three common scenarios highlight this limiting belief. The first is the woman with a career and a family who struggles with the question of whether to quit her job. She could have many reasons to leave her career path, and there’s no shame in that — especially not right now. It’s been a grueling year for many of us and choosing to spend more time with family is understandable.

But she shouldn’t feel she needs to quit because of burnout, lack of career progression, and so on. Working mothers deserve fulfilling careers just as much as anyone else and should only leave their jobs when they genuinely want to.

A second common scenario is the woman who takes time off to have children, and later wants to get back in the game. She feels intimidated about returning to the work world and unsure if she has the up-to-date skills to succeed. She wonders how to “explain” her period of no work to prospective employers.

These concerns can delay women returning to the workforce and add extra stress to their job search.

The third scenario involves the professional woman who hasn’t had children yet, but might want to in the future. She wonders if she’ll be able to stay on her career trajectory and start a family. She starts to consider not only her own personal development and advancement, but also how she could possibly carve out the time for starting a family.

Women grapple with these kinds of scenarios far more than men. Of course, not all professional women choose to have children, but these concerns loom large for those who do. 

I’m here to tell you that now is the perfect time to take control of your career. Never before have circumstances been so favorable for balancing career and family. With bigger and better opportunities and an overall shift in how businesses approach flexible work, now is the best time to be a career woman with a family.

Discover Companies Seeking Women in Leadership

Have you ever spotted a small note on a job application for a leadership role, especially for board seats, that says women encouraged to apply? Companies are committing to diversity and actively seeking ways to bring more women into leadership positions. But in the case of board seats, it’s not just a bid to improve their diversity. It’s a company obeying an actual law.

Since the signing of bill S.B. 826 in 2018, all NYSE- and Nasdaq-listed public companies in California must include women on their board of directors. How many depends on the size of the board, but by 2021, certain companies must have at least three.

The end of 2021 is fast approaching, meaning any company that hasn’t yet met its quota is actively seeking women for board positions. There’s a trickle down factor at play here. To have women qualified for board seats these women must have excelled in a leadership position previously. This is driving a dialogue for CEOs to begin building their bench of female leaders NOW. Now is the perfect time to seize this opportunity and take on the leadership role you’re qualified for.

Even if you’re not at the board level, seek out those companies that already have women in positions of power. There’s often a trickle-down effect, where companies with women in leadership tend to hire more women in general. You’re more likely to find a commitment to gender equality in those organizations.

“Based on my experience, the job market for finance and accounting talent is hotter than it’s ever been before. Make the most of the current talent shortage and the drive to hire women to secure the future you want and deserve.”

Enjoy a Flexible Workplace

The pandemic doesn’t have many silver linings, but the rise of flexible and hybrid workplaces is one of them. Now more than ever, companies are ready to take on remote workers, offer flexible schedules, and consider working patterns outside the standard nine-to-five. 

Employees across the country are questioning the traditional routine we’ve taken as mandatory for so long. Now, businesses consider what actually needs to be done in the office and what can be done remotely. Many employees will never even need to go to an office at all.

Remote work saves time otherwise wasted on a commute, and it also means childcare becomes much easier. As a working mom, you can work from home with kids in the house or fit your hours in around family commitments. With a flexible work schedule, the pressure to choose between your family and your career eases dramatically.

Repackage Your Skills

If you’re nervous about lacking certain skills or you feel like something is missing from your resume, trust me when I say that the market is looking for people with exactly your skills. You simply need to rethink how to package them.

With talent shortages in a range of roles in finance and accounting, there are plenty of opportunities for women to return to the workforce. As noted above, various diversity and inclusion initiatives also specifically encourage companies to bring on more women. People are looking for you. You just need to put yourself out there and show up in their searches!

You may not realize that your skills as a mother uniquely fit a range of job descriptions. If you’re returning to work after having children, think about how your time management skills have improved. Moms don’t have time to waste, can juggle multiple tasks at the same time while maintaining efficiency, and are used to working with tight deadlines in a largely thankless environment. Do you see how valuable these skills would be to an employer when conveyed the right way?

Stop focusing on the professional experiences you haven’t had over the last few years, and recognize all the extremely valuable skills you have developed in that time.

Ultimately, I know that you might be tired and worn out. But if you’ve been feeling the itch to get back to work or take the next step in your career, forget about the obstacles. Know that now is the golden hour for women in the workplace.

With the job market stronger than ever, be brave and lean into it. Based on my experience, the job market for finance and accounting talent is hotter than it’s ever been before. Make the most of the current talent shortage and the drive to hire women to secure the future you want and deserve. 

Share your aspirations in the comments and let’s get to work!

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