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industry & Markets
Working Moms
Brett Boadway—Chief Operating Officer, IBAO
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he broker channel needs next gen talent, and female next gen talent is a crucial part of the pipeline. This article is dedicated to all the young female brokers who wonder what a professional life in this industry looks like once you have children. For current working moms, it’s a peek behind the curtain on how others are managing. I chatted with my sister Quincy Huntley for this piece—a young brokerage owner in Uxbridge with two daughters aged 2.5 years and 9 months old—on our shared experiences.
How does the reality of being a working mom compare to how you pictured it before kids?
QH: I envisioned being a super mom. Doing it all, no sweat. In reality it’s harder than I thought. I take it one day at a time and reassure myself I’m doing a great job. It’s all about organization, time-management and communication. What about you?
BB: When I first got pregnant with the twins (now 3 years old) I was nervous about telling my employer. I worried it would send a signal that my career ambitions had stalled. But I couldn’t have been more wrong. Throughout this whole process I’ve felt really supported professionally.
What’s the hardest part of balancing your two worlds?
QH: Making sure everyone and everything is getting the attention it deserves. Are my kids happy and meeting key milestones? Am I meeting deadlines and producing quality work? Am I setting aside enough time for myself? Being a parent is one of the most selfless things an individual can do but you need to also take care of yourself. Self-care all the way!
BB: For me it’s the guilt. The daily energy allocation becomes fragmented and with each fragmentation comes the guilt. It’s hard to escape.
What’s the best part of having both a professional and parenting life?
QH: Having a sense of purpose both professionally and personally is very satisfying. I don’t think anyone would argue that being a parent is the most rewarding job going but collaborating with a team and working towards the company’s success offers a different form of gratification. There are often times I climb into bed after putting the kids down, tidying the house, making lunches and cleaning up my email that I think oh yeah, I killed it today.
BB: The variety in mental stimulation is a huge plus. Whenever I’m feeling guilty that I’m not doing enough for my kids because of work pressures, I wonder—even if I dedicated 100% of my time to the kids, would I be a better mom? Would I actually do more for the kids or would I just be a bit more organized and a lot more grumpy?
It’s no secret that managing work and parenting is a precarious balancing act. How do you deal with your most frustrating days when you’re pulled in too many directions?
QH: Prioritize. Take a deep breath and reassess your to-do list. Postpone doing tasks that can be done later and focus on items that require your immediate attention. But don’t be fooled by this calm, cool and collected answer—anyone who knows me knows my frustration is always paired with a few (a lot) of tears. Keep the big picture in mind and everything will work out.
BB: I’m thinking back to those pandemic days when the kids were screaming and the conference calls were important. If I’m being honest, my answer was Netflix, specifically Paw Patrol. But outside of pandemic life, I think the answer is leaning on your community and asking for help. And by community, I mean grandparents, aunts and uncles, friends, even your colleagues or manager. With your colleagues, if something is due by 5 o’clock, ask if you can send it by 8AM the next morning and borrow some time after the kids’ bedtime to finish the task.
Coming out of the pandemic it’s been said that more women, particularly mothers, are likely to leave the workforce or already have. As an employer, what are your thoughts on keeping young females in the workforce?
QH: At DG Smith we recognize that remote working is no longer a perk, it’s an expectation. It’s not a matter of if our employees can work from home but how. We’ve built a team (all females and moms may I add) that we can trust. We understand our employees have other commitments and priorities so rather than measuring by the minute we measure overall performance. It’s important to offer flexibility while making sure time is allocated for personal relationships, culture, collaboration. We support all kinds of moms! Whether your dog has a grooming appointment mid-day or your child has to be picked up early, bring them to the office. We love seeing them!
BB: In general, it's possible that employers who can’t offer some type of flexibility will be out-selected by young talent going forward. I also hope paternity leave becomes more normalized in our industry. Go dads! The insurance industry is a great industry for working moms. You’re in a community that supports you, so celebrate motherhood as an asset to your professionalism.
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