When it comes to juggling business and motherhood, many women have their own opinions on whether you can be successful in your career and as a mother. However, there are certainly more people challenging the misconception that women who choose to take on both the responsibilities of being a working mother cannot be successful in the boardroom and the playroom.
Statistics from the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap Index show that South Africa scores in the top 20 countries which has closed approximately 75% of its gender gaps in the workplace.
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.”
Mofokeng is a mother of two boys aged eighteen (19) and nine (10) and says she has enjoyed every bit of her journey in motherhood, while working her way up to a managing director position.
“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,” says Mofokeng.
To help other women maintain a balanced lifestyle between home and work, Mofokeng shares her top five tips to succeed both in the boardroom and playroom:
Indulge in ‘down time’ 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 5pm 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 business woman in the long run.”
“Women can definitely succeed in boardrooms and playrooms; the secret ingredient is the ability to trust in yourself and embrace the journey,” concludes Mofokeng.