It’s hitting the news, twitter and TV stations across the US and UK, one internet start-up CEO Katharine Zaleski has apologised for her ‘mistakes’ in giving her female workforce a hard time for her narrow mindness on working mothers.
Writing on the Fortune website, Katharine sends a very heartfelt and honest apology
- I secretly rolled my eyes at a mother who couldn’t make it to last minute drinks with me and my team. I questioned her “commitment” even though she arrived two hours earlier to work than me and my hungover colleagues the next day.
- I didn’t disagree when another female editor said we should hurry up and fire another woman before she “got pregnant.”
- I sat in a job interview where a male boss grilled a mother of three and asked her, “How in the world are you going to be able to commit to this job and all your kids at the same time?” I didn’t give her any visual encouragement when the mother – who was a top cable news producer at the time – looked at him and said, “Believe it or not, I like being away from my kids during the workday… just like you.”
- I scheduled last minute meetings at 4:30pm all of the time. It didn’t dawn on me that parents might need to pick up their kids at daycare. I was obsessed with the idea of showing my commitment to the job by staying in the office “late” even though I wouldn’t start working until 10:30 am while parents would come in at 8:30 am.
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.
Within her first week, I became consumed by the idea that my career was over. It was almost as if my former self was telling me I was worthless because I wouldn’t be able to continue sitting in an office for ten hours a day. And I certainly wouldn’t be able to get drinks at the last minute.
Zaleski, who is now a mother herself, has discovered her lack of empathy to working mothers but only once she herself became one. Zaleski, appearing on UK morning TV today, took questioning in her own pace and proud of her apology. Critics say it is an excellent marketing strategy to promote her new company and herself. But what do you think?
There’s a saying that “if you want something done then ask a busy person to do it.” That’s exactly why I like working with mothers now. – Katharine Zaleski
Regardless of one individual how can the 4 points above not be repeated by other managers, bosses and companies? In this case it took motherhood for a boss to realise the errors. This cannot be achieved by many male bosses and whilst senior leaders come to their senses what happens to the individuals who have to suffer the naive approach taken by so many?