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Truth: Mothers Are Future Shapers!

Imagine a job that shapes the future of the world, by influencing the emotional, intellectual, and moral development of children who become leaders, innovators, and contributors.

A mother’s influence extends far beyond the family, shaping communities, cultures, and ultimately, the world.  Mothers nurture and educate the next generation, instilling values, and empathy that are essential for creating a compassionate society.  Mothers serve as caregivers, educators, and role models, teaching invaluable lessons and perspectives that influence our outlook on life.

Mothers in the workforce have come a long way in the 110 years that we have officially celebrated Mother’s Day. 


Mother’s Day History and the Workforce:


On May 9th, 1914, the 28th President of the United States, Wood Wilson, signed a proclamation designating the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day. 


Let’s look back:


1950s-1960s: The Traditional Housewife  was the role of mothers after World War II.  Women were homemakers whose primary role was to care for their families and households. The concept of the “ideal mother” was synonymous with the image of the stay-at-home housewife, dedicated solely to children and husband.


1970s: The Feminist Movement of the 1970s challenged traditional gender roles and advocated for women’s rights, including the right to equal opportunities in the workforce.


1980s-1990s: Breaking the Glass Ceiling. As more women entered higher education and pursued careers outside the home, women started to break through the glass ceiling in traditionally male-dominated industries.  The working mother became increasingly normalized, and the struggle to balance work and family responsibilities became mainstream.


2000s: The Rise of Flexible Work in this decade, such as telecommuting, part-time work, and job sharing provided working mothers with greater flexibility.  Access to flexible work was, and is still today, based on socioeconomic status and industry.


2010s: Parental Leave Policies gained momentum in the 2010s, with growing recognition of the importance of supporting working parents, particularly mothers, in the workforce. Countries around the world began to implement or expand parental leave policies, including paid maternity leave, paternity leave, and parental leave, aimed at promoting work-life balance and gender equality.


2020s: Diversity, Inclusion and Policies for Working Parents.  Our current decade shows progress towards equity in the workforce, including the recognition of the unique challenges faced by working mothers, especially those from marginalized communities. Mothers today are often caregivers for children and aging parents alike. They are adept at juggling the decision-making, finances, priorities, schedules, care, and support of multiple generations. 

A History of Bias in the workforce towards Mothers:


As I began my career hiring in the early 1990’s, I remember the bias against hiring mothers. Working mothers were labeled as unreliable based on competing responsibilities and commitment to family. As my career grew, the movement to help mothers re-enter the workforce evolved, along with the recognition of transferable skills including diplomacy, patience, multi-tasking, decision-making, nurturing, caring, and empathy. 


One organization today, supporting women and work is the non-profit, Untapped Potential, Inc founded in 2015 by Candace Freedenberg, whose mission is to reignite careers and support social change for women and work-life success.   


Here is a list from 2023 of the Best Workplaces for Parents.


While it’s evident that significant progress has been made, there is still much work to be done. The journey towards gender equality in the workforce requires ongoing advocacy, policy reform, and cultural shifts to ensure that all mothers have equal opportunities to pursue fulfilling careers while caring for their families. Let us continue to strive towards a future where every mother can thrive professionally and personally, contributing their talents and skills to the workforce and society.


I’d like to share a Mother's Day YouTube Playlist I created for this occasion.  I hope you enjoy it, and that you find inspiration to thank the mothers in your life, who have shaped your future.

Cathy Wynne

Mother, Grandmother, Godmother, Dog Mother, Future Shaper

If you are interviewing to hire, or to be hired, you MUST read our FREE DOWNLOADABLE E-BOOK, Interviewing From Both Sides Of The Desk.


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YouTube Channel: Wynne Hires - YouTube

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