10 Moms on How Having Kids Helps Them at Work
For Mother’s Day, some of our engineers share what their kids think of their jobs and how motherhood helps them in their jobs.
Laura Main, Senior Systems Engineer, Phoenix (featured above)
Kids: Nathan, 8 and Harper, 3
What do your kids think you do? My kids think that I make airplanes fly. I tell them that I work on the cockpit connecting all the signals that help the pilots fly the airplane. They love seeing the cockpits and always ask if this is one of mommy’s planes.
How does being a mom help at work? I am so used to spinning 10 plates at one time, I use that skill set to track and stay on top of all the different programs’ schedules and tasks. Dealing with kids prepares you very well to work with all kinds of people in the office. If I can get a stubborn 3-year-old to eat their vegetables, convincing a grown-up to rework requirements is a piece of cake!
Silvie Luisa Brazdilova, Research and Development Scientist in Brno, Czech Republic
Kids: Irena, 11, Alena, 7 and Kristýna, 3
What do your kids think you do? I tried to explain that I am working on new avionics, but I guess their impression is that I am just “sitting by a computer.”
How does being a mom help at work? Family is a great motivator – I would like to be an example for my daughters and show them that work can be a source of pleasure and satisfaction. And of course, I am looking forward to go to work as I am allowed to sit there and think without being disturbed all the time, in contrast with the lively environment at home.
Yunfei Zou, Technical Manager in Shanghai
Kid: Chenshuo, 5
What does your kid think you do? Build some parts inside of an aircraft to manufacture an aircraft.
How does being a mom help at work? Motherhood increases my skills: Multitasking, prioritizing and time management and using the skills to deal with conflict between kids helps dealing with conflict between adults.
Annemarie Diepenbroek, Global Marketing Director in Sydney, Australia
Kids: Freya, 16 and Marten, 13
What do your kids think you do? I explain to my kids that field workers are like astronauts: Honeywell provides them with their safety gear, monitors them and supports them with new software and hardware solutions that help them do their task safer and faster. They might not be in space but they are typically far away from the rest of the world doing equally dangerous and very important jobs!
How does being a mom help you at work? We all benefit from safe, reliable and emission-reduced manufacturing, I am very much driven by these outcomes. When my two kids came along, my passion only grew stronger to stay in this field as I feel an increased sense of responsibility to help make our industry safer for everyone who works there.
Mary Bogdan, Senior Principal Scientist in Buffalo, New York
Kids: Bradley, 31, Colin, 28 and Ryan, 26
What do your kids think you do? My husband is a science teacher. Science was always part of my sons' lives. Honeywell had a family day when they were young so they got to see the labs. We used what I do for a living for science fair projects during the years. They are proud of what I do.
How does being a mom help at work? It improves my time management skills. Helps me to understand different personalities and learn communication styles. Also, since they are all men, it helps me understand on a male perspective on a situation and how to effectively communicate with them.
Anjali Managoli, Engineering Manager in Bengaluru, India
Kid: Ninad, 10
What do your son think you do? When my son was much younger, he would describe my work as “taking calls” – as this is what I did at home. Now that he is grown up, he understands my work to some extent, but he still thinks a major part of my work is “taking calls.”
How does being a mom help at work? Being a people leader is very much like being a parent. I am responsible for catering to the needs of my team, from ensuring that they are happy with their work to giving them the right tools and environment to perform their work. I act as a mentor, coach, critic and a friend as the situation and the person demands. When the team succeeds, you feel proud – exactly how a parent would.
Julie Lazar, Site Leader for Quality and Operations in Melbourne, Australia
Kids: Benjamin, 12 and Jonathan, 9
What do your kids think you do? They have an understanding that their mom works on fire alarm panels saving people’s lives. They are also aware their mom is a leader in the workplace and spends most of her time in meetings.
How does being a mom help at work? Being a mom has helped me to relate to many of my team members and colleagues who are also parents, it has helped me in tuning my leadership skills having empathy for others. Me being part of diversity council, many times I was called to mentor new mothers and other women employees on work life balance.
Felicia Moore, Senior Director in Cleveland, Ohio
Kids: Christina, 25 and Katie, 21
What do your kids think you do? First, they know I am an engineer, I love my work and I do my best every day. It’s really neat when their work or school and my job intersect, for example developing statistical models, me for product quality and my daughter for ecosystems or discussing analytics as it relates to biological systems.
How does being a mom help at work? Enables me to empathize with team members in all situations and to coach them to be their best.
Ping Ye, Senior Research and Development Engineer in Shanghai
Kid: Nicole, 5
What does your daughter think you do? Mom is an engineer Who can design the airplane, the job seems like you build anything using LEGOs, but need more advanced skill you will grow later on.
How does being a mom help at work? Being a mom is a lifetime career with more experience (joy, love, unsure and adventure, etc.), same as [advancing] in work. So far, I think the biggest change is to improve self-management ability such as time control and multi-tasking, which help in daily work.
Barbora Nečasová, business analyst in Brno, Czech Republic
Kids: Míša, almost 5
What does your daughter think you do? Oh, it is not easy to describe my position to adults either. My daughter knows that I use a computer for my job. And that’s it.
How does being a mom help at work? I think it helps a lot. Just to get the balance. You know – to have a job is important for all of us but to have a family, you gain different priorities, a new perspective for your life. For me personally – thanks to this fact I can avoid the work-related stress.