Mother’s Day should not be limited to May 12 as her indispensable contribution extends far beyond the realms of domesticity, writes Meghna Ghai Puri, President, Whistling Woods International

In the vast expanse of human achievement, one constant remains: the resilience and strength of mothers. As we celebrated Mother’s Day on May 12, I thought it is imperative to pause and reflect on the profound significance of mothers in our lives and society at large, particularly working mothers who navigate the delicate balance between nurturing families and pursuing careers. In my role as a leader, as the President of Whistling Woods International (WWI), I have had the privilege of witnessing firsthand the challenges faced by working mothers and the imperative for collective responsibility society bears in supporting them.

Significance of Mothers: Mothers epitomise unconditional love, compassion, and resilience. From nurturing infants to nurturing careers, they juggle multiple roles with grace and determination. As mothers, we are entrusted with the task of nurturing and shaping future generations, driving societal progress through our unwavering dedication.

Beyond the confines of home, working mothers play a pivotal role in driving societal progress and fostering inclusive workplaces. A mother’s indispensable contribution extends far beyond the realms of domesticity, as we navigate the intricate balance between professional aspirations and familial responsibilities.

Working Mothers: Despite their invaluable contributions, the journey of a working mother is fraught with challenges, ranging from gender bias and work-life balance struggles to lower pay scales. Despite strides towards gender equality, women continue to encounter various barriers that hinder their advancement in the workplace. As a working mother myself, I strongly advocate for and practice the need for systemic changes and the implementation of tangible measures to address these issues.

Gender Bias: Gender bias remains a pervasive obstacle, permeating corporate cultures and stifling women’s progress. The insidious nature of bias manifests in subtle ways, from microaggressions to systemic barriers that impede women’s career trajectories. Despite efforts to bridge the gender gap, organisations still grapple with ingrained biases that undermine women’s contributions.

As a fervent advocate for gender equality, I always encourage the inclusion of diversity training modules, workshops, and inclusive hiring practices. Furthermore, I firmly believe in the importance of encouraging men to actively participate in childcare and household chores, thereby enabling their partners to pursue their dreams.

At Whistling Woods International, we prioritise minimising gender bias by actively promoting and normalising this involvement of men in family responsibilities. I have witnessed the transformative power of inclusive leadership and diverse representation in challenging prevailing norms and fostering a culture of inclusivity and equality.

Balancing Work and Family: The elusive quest for work-life balance is a persistent struggle for working mothers, as we endeavour to fulfil professional obligations while prioritising familial responsibilities. The demands of modern-day careers often collide with the demands of parenthood, leading to guilt, stress, and burnout.

In my own journey, I have grappled with the delicate balance between work and family, striving to carve out moments of respite amidst the relentless demands of a fast-paced professional environment. By championing initiatives such as work-from-home options and extended maternal leave, companies can enable mothers to thrive both personally and professionally. As an organisation, we have emphasised the importance of flexible work arrangements and supportive policies to alleviate the burden on working mothers & fathers.

Wage Disparities: The persistent gender wage gap underscores the systemic inequities faced by working mothers, as they contend with unequal compensation and limited opportunities for advancement. Despite equal qualifications and expertise, women continue to earn less than their male counterparts, perpetuating cycles of economic disparity and financial insecurity. By addressing wage disparities and promoting pay equity, organisations can foster a more inclusive and socially structured workplace culture.

As a staunch proponent of pay equity, I have championed initiatives aimed at closing the wage gap and promoting fair compensation policies at Whistling Woods International.

Working Mothers: Creating a supportive ecosystem for working mothers necessitates concerted efforts from all stakeholders, including employers, policymakers, and society at large. Flexible work policies, extended maternity leaves, and access to affordable childcare facilities are instrumental in fostering a conducive environment for working mothers to thrive.

As the President of Whistling Woods International, I have spearheaded initiatives to encourage working mothers, advocating for inclusive policies that enable them to pursue their professional aspirations without compromising their familial responsibilities.

Gender Equality:  Achieving gender equality requires a multifaceted approach encompassing education, advocacy, and policy reform. By challenging societal norms and dismantling entrenched stereotypes, we can create a more inclusive and equitable world for future generations. As a mother, leader, and advocate for change, I am committed to advancing equality & inclusion by fostering an environment that values diversity and celebrates the achievements of women and supports them to realise their full potential.

Giving due importance to mothers or talking about them is not a one-day affair.  We must, as a  matter of habit and  not mere policy, honour the indomitable spirit of mothers around the world. Our journey is marked by triumphs and tribulations, victories and setbacks, but through it all, we persevere with grace and determination.

Together, as we strive towards a more inclusive and equitable society, let us stand in solidarity with every mother, recognising their invaluable contributions and encouraging them to pursue their dreams while nurturing their families and shaping a brighter future for generations to come.