Even though some of the most viral LinkedIn posts have been about working parents, it’s pretty rare to see someone include she’s a mom right in her profile. But of those mothers, some don’t just casually mention their parenting status there; they shout it. Whether it’s part of their headline or listed as a separate job they’ve held, the moms below were intentional about making it known to colleagues, clients and employers that they have kids. Here’s why they did it and how others have reacted, in case you’re considering doing the same.
Monique Braham-Evans, New York City
Her LinkedIn Headline: “Working Mom, Associate Media Director of Digital Investment at Evergreen Trading and Board of Directors Member of 212NYC”
“I didn’t make my LinkedIn profile alone. I had been at the same agency for five years, and I just wasn’t advancing in my career in a way that I felt I should. My friend and I ran a business resource group together called Power of Women that was related to women empowerment and doing community service. She called me out on the fact that I was so into empowering others, but I was not empowering myself. So she booked a conference room, and she said, ‘We are creating a LinkedIn profile for you.’ She was walking me through the steps, and she asked, ‘How would you describe yourself?’ So the reason why I put working mom in there is because it’s definitely part of my identity; it’s part of who I am. I don’t see describing myself any other way.
When I have a seat at the table, I have to use that opportunity in order to speak up for others that aren’t there. We had a baby boom at my job, where a lot of women got pregnant at the same time, myself included. So I founded Power of Women Mamas, because while there are issues all women share, there are some that are specific to moms. I also worked in conjunction with HR to revisit the maternity leave process and how it was being handled. No one was really walking women through the process and helping them adjust when they came back from leave. So working mom is who I am, but it’s also who I’m for and who I definitely champion.”
Vanessa Z. Chan, Philadelphia, PA
Her LinkedIn Headline: “Professor, Maker, Entrepreneur, Investor, Speaker, Working Parent who with her Working Hubs is Making it All Work”
“‘Working mom’ is one of the most important aspects of who I am and as such, I thought it made sense to add it to my title. I’ve grown and learned more about myself as a mom than in any other job I’ve had—I’m a better person because of my kids. I also think that juggling everything can be very hard when you are trying to build a career and be an engaged and active parent, so by having it on my LinkedIn profile, I’m inviting an open dialogue with any parent who also is trying to juggle parenting and a career.
There is no way that my husband or I could have both had thriving careers and be good parents, without each other taking turns during critical times in our respective careers. My husband has a pretty big job as the head of energy, waste and facilities maintenance for Walmart, and he lives in Arkansas during the week and has done so for the last three-plus years. Simultaneously, I am an ex-McKinsey partner, angel investor, entrepreneur, motivational speaker, Ivy League engineering professor and somehow both of us have had very successful careers while raising two independent and thriving daughters. For us not to recognize the other would be disingenuous to how we’ve made everything work.
I also think too often, women are portrayed as needing to be ‘super moms’ who do it all when ideally, they should be part of a super team. As a leader, I think it’s important to share that you can succeed in your career and be a great parent so that the next generation of men and women see a role model that they can reach out to when they are trying to figure out what path they are going to forge. When folks reach out, I share how my husband and I have done it—not to say we have the perfect model, but to give them ideas for what they want their own blueprint to be.”
Julie McCausland-Richey, Saint Louis, MO
Her LinkedIn Headline: “Full-time working mom to 2 wild boys, and Director of Audience and Channel Strategies at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Keeping it real!”
“I love being a mom, and family time is incredibly valuable to me. But I love working too. Where I’m at in my personal life and career, I have to find the balance and I want that to be understood by my employer, colleagues and teams. I think it helps people who I interact with understand me better too. Sometimes I’m a complete mess.
I’m also way proud of my kiddos. This sounds totally full of myself, but I think when people find out that I’m a full-time working mom to two wild boys, they’re impressed. I have to work really hard to keep everything moving and everyone alive.
My current employer is a children’s hospital, so being a parent and having time for your family is part of the culture. If anything, having ‘working mom’ in my profile has been a conversation starter with many. I think it’s a huge relief to others that are trying to balance the demands of family and work. I know several of my direct managers have specifically come to me to tell me how much they appreciate my push for work-life balance and how much they appreciate the flexibility that allows them. I also think people just love to talk about their kids or grandkids and it helps make that personal connection.”
Chivonne Bailer, Boston, MA
Her LinkedIn Headline: “A Full-Time Working Mom Who Wears ALL of the Hats! Recruiter at Andover Personnel Agency Inc.”
“I’ve worked on and off since I was 16-years-old. I had my first child at 17, but I actually enjoy working. I wanted to be a part of a network that reminds me that it’s OK to be a mother and an employee, and that I’m not alone. In my own experience, when people know that they’re not alone, it makes it easier for them to open up about certain things.
My mom was a single working mom and I think that’s where my strong belief that I should work came from. I come from a long line of people who work, both men and women. My friends work also. I think people’s reactions would be more negative if I wasn’t working!
While it can be a struggle to find the balance between motherhood and work, you can find it. I’m still working on finding that balance, but if there isn’t some sort of struggle, is what you’re fighting for worth it?”
Tara Griesbach, Boston, MA
Her LinkedIn Headline: “Talent Acquisition, culture builder and working mom at Devoted Health”
“Being a working mom affects the way I view parents or caregivers. While I’ve always had great respect for this role, when I became a mom myself, I had a whole new level of both respect and realization for what it means to balance. It’s about daily tradeoffs, being uber productive and always having an active mind checking lists with what is happening in both worlds.
As a woman in the workplace over the past few years, I have seen more and more people engaged in the conversation, both men and women, of how to best support working parents, as well as the strain of balancing all hats. There is a lot of openness at both the companies I’ve worked at and it’s nice that the conversation is happening. At the end of the day, it’s hard to balance it all, but it’s nice to know that others feel the same way. I am fortunate to work for a company that is very supportive of this stage in my life.”
Grace Jan, Rockville, MD
Her LinkedIn Headline: “Association Executive, Global Event Strategist, Working Mom Warrior”
“I recently went to a training session on how to use LinkedIn more effectively and wanted to put in a tagline to describe exactly who I am. I wanted to embrace the success of being a professional woman in the workforce but also of being a successful working mom. It is a daily grind to try to juggle it all and not feel too guilty so the ‘warrior’ part sounded fitting as well.
I think being a mom makes me better at what I do. I have to be very organized, a great multi-tasker, and a forward thinker to be good at home and at work. As my kids were growing up, I may not have been able to make it to everything they participated in, but I was able to prioritize and make it to events that were important to them.
Since I added ‘Working Mom Warrior’ to my profile, a fellow college alum reached out to me since she was in the same industry as well as a working mom. It was great to be able to connect and relate with her in all three aspects that I described in my tagline.”
Emily Blumenthal, New York City, mom of three
Her LinkedIn Headline: “Creator of the Handbag Awards, Author of Handbag Designer 101, Founder at The Charmsters, Professor of Entrepreneurship” Her Job Experience: Working Mom
“I was up late after trying to deposit three children at three very different ages to bed and was so exhausted that I decided that being a mom most definitely counts as work experience. It is undervalued. Your day starts before everyone else, ends after everyone else, and you are on call for the rest of your life. Is there another job like that anyone would do voluntarily without pay? It’s not a matter of celebration; it’s recognition. They say if you want to get something done, give it to a mom. I couldn’t agree more. And I can’t say how many times I have been on a call with one of them being there and having to say either a) someone else brought their kids to work today and can’t control them, b) ‘those kids’ will just work it out and if you can ignore the noise, I already am or c) they see I am on a call and will figure it out with me. Mind you, I have worked from home for as long as they have all been alive and if you can’t throw some humor into the mix and make light of the situation, then doing this job makes it even harder.
I have had my own business since I was 26, long before it was titled ‘entrepreneurship,’ and started out as a handbag designer, then professor, then author, then pivoted to creating an awards show and platform for handbag designers. Then I became pregnant with number one. I worked nonstop postpartum. I suppose when you work from home with your own business, you can’t actually take time off. I have evolved my brand and business to consulting, wrote another book and am launching a tween brand as well. This was kind of the mom-anomaly since I didn’t have a nanny and I just decided after 12 years, three kids and already more peanut butter and jelly sandwiches later, it was more than worthy of a line item on Linkedin.”