We challenge the misconception that women cannot juggle the demands of a career and motherhood.
Statistics from the World Economic Forum’s 2016 Global Gender Gap Index show that South Africa is improving in workplace gender equality, as more women make their way into executive roles. Nelly Mofokeng, Managing Director of Junior Achievement South Africa (JA South Africa), says that mothers no longer need to give up a career to be a good role model to their children.
“With a major focus on women empowerment in South Africa, women are not just leading big and reputable companies, but they are doing a brilliant job at it,” says Mofokeng. “However, this success doesn’t necessarily mean that their families are made to suffer in the process.” The mother of two boys (aged 18 and 9), Mofokeng says she has enjoyed every bit of her journey in motherhood, while working her way up to the position of managing director.
“I am fortunate to have built a career in an industry that allows me to be me, and one that I am abundantly passionate about. I owe my success to my children, who fuel my strength and dedication to keeping working towards success. I have learnt that success is not determined by sacrifice, but comes from a balance between doing what you love and seeing happiness on the faces of the ones you love,” she adds.
Mofokeng shares her five tips on how to succeed both in the boardroom and playroom:
- Indulge in downtime while at home – Be present when you are with your family and don’t try to do any work during this time. They need to know that they have your full attention.
- Establish a routine – Allocate specific times of the day to be with your family that are non-negotiable. For example, every morning I make sure that I have breakfast with my boys before they head out to school.
- Strive for “good enough” – There’s room for improvement in all our lives, but it’s just as important to be realistic. If you’ve had a long day and your children want to watch TV with you for another 15 minutes, you’re allowed to bend the rules sometimes – especially if it will bring you and your family joy for at least another hour together.
- Leave work at work – When the clock strikes 17h00 and it is time to go home, leave your work and the stress of your day at the office. Avoid taking work home with you, particularly if it cuts into spending quality time with your family.
- Enjoy the journey – Be sure to stop and smell the roses every now and then, and remember to be thankful for the journey of motherhood and business, despite the ups and downs. Taking time to enjoy and learn from experiences along the way will make you a stronger mother and businesswoman in the long run.
Source and image: Junior Achievement South Africa