It’s a tough world out there for working mothers. Here’s the story behind one entrepreneur’s apology to moms everywhere — and how she’s making up for her past.
Have you ever judged a co-worker for being a mother? Perhaps you silently second-guessed her ability to perform her duties, or her dedication to the company.
Katharine Zaleski certainly did. And only once she became a mother herself did she realize the destructive nature of her behavior. In a recent essay for Fortune, this entrepreneur she used to work with.
“For mothers in the workplace, it’s death by a thousand cuts – and sometimes it’s other women holding the knives. I didn’t realize this – or how horrible I’d been – until five years later, when I gave birth to a daughter of my own,” she wrote.
A better option for working women
Those “thousand cuts,” refer to workplace policies and cultures that make it difficult for women to maintain both a .
Since having her daughter, Zaleski has become passionate about making the workplace — especially the tech field — more accommodating to women. With this goal in mind, she co-founded a company called PowerToFly, which connects they can do from home.
Unimpressed with the dueling notions of or accepting , Zaleski thinks remote jobs are the best path for working women today.
“By enabling women to work from home, women could be valued for their productivity and not time spent sitting in an office or at a bar bonding afterwards,” she wrote. “Mothers could have a third option that would allow them to either remain in the workforce or be a part of it even from areas with few job options.”
But was it an authentic apology?
Though many have lauded Zaleski for her efforts, some think the timing is a little too convenient — nothing more than a PR grab. Her company, which , has no doubt seen lots of website traffic as this article made the rounds, enough to crash the site at one point.
Whether her letter was motivated by PR purposes, we can’t say we really care. Zaleski’s apology (and startup) brought the ongoing struggle of working women back into the — which is never a bad thing.
If you’re a mother (or thinking of having children), do you work remotely? If not, would you like to?
Susan Shain (@Susan_Shain) is a freelance writer and travel blogger who loves helping people discover adventure through international travel or alternative careers.