“Guess What? I’m Pregnant!”

What four words can send a leader’s emotions into panic, shock, and fear while still masking a look and response of complete happiness and joy?

“Guess what? I’m pregnant.”

As a mother and business woman, I know the issues and pressures of dealing with pregnancy, pre- and postpartum emotions, and maternity leave. I get it but only because I’ve been through them all. One of the benefits of having women leaders in your company is the ability to mentor future women leaders who desire to grow their family alongside their career.

Of course, as a leader I worried about losing my top producer to maternity leave. I also worried about losing a teammate because of their decision to become a stay-at-home mom. Even with those concerns lingering in the back of my mind, I love seeing working women grow their families. Call me crazy but I’ve helped plan a lot of careers while also encouraging women to grow their families. My motivation isn’t just because I’m a woman, it’s also because of the long-term benefits it provides me, the company, and future women leaders. Here are a few examples of what I’m talking about. (more…)