Mita Mallick is Head of Inclusion, Equity, and Impact at Carta, a contributor at Entrepreneur Media, and the author of the popular “Please don’t” column at SWAAY. Additionally, her work has been featured in Harvard Business Review. She has led iconic brands like AVEENO, Suave, Dove, and Vaseline, where she signed Viola Davis to be the Vaseline Healing Project Ambassador. She joins Marcel Schwantes to discuss the biases against working mothers in organizations and how to combat them.
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- Paid time off is not enough to support women, Mita says, because there is a common social bias which affects them during their maternity leave. Unfair treatment persists after they return and holds them back. [2:37]
- Mita shares her experience with unfair treatment on the job during her maternity leave. Her employer offered her position to another worker, even after assuring her she would retain her role in the organization when she returned. “This is [not just] my story,” she says, “it’s the story of so many women and this happens every day.” [6:42]
- Mita talks about the conversations managers should be having with employees going on maternity leave. Managers should provide employees with feedback on their performance and the state of their assignments, so they know where they are leaving things and do not have to worry about work on their time off. [10:23]
- “I strongly believe our employees are our forgotten consumers,” Mita claims. “As companies, we spend so much time thinking externally about who we sell to and how we get them to try our products. [We need to also] ask [our employees] what they want and need, and provide it for them.” [15:25]
- Women have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the start of the pandemic, five million women have lost their jobs, and 2 million have permanently left the workforce. Additionally, there are 3 unemployed working mothers to every father who has lost his job. Black and brown women are even more affected by their job losses. [17:41]
- Having a gap in your resume makes it more likely for you to be seen as lazy, incompetent, and unambitious, Mita remarks. Because of this, it may be difficult for women who have been forced out of employment due to the pandemic to find new work. “When advertising, companies need to be open about them being okay with prospective employees having a gap in their resume,” she adds. [21:21]
- Marcel asks Mita why the role of a Chief Diversity Officer is important to an organization. She responds that it’s to ensure that employees’ needs are met, so it enhances the organization’s overall performance and strategy. [24:41]
- “Kindness is such an underdeveloped, underutilized, and underrated leadership trait,” Mita comments. “Kindness and love are connected. [Leaders can] show love at the workplace by honoring their employees’ experiences and contributions.” [30:24]
- Mita Mallick on LinkedIn
- Maternity Leave Isn’t Enough to Retain New Moms [Harvard Business Review article]
- Brad Johnson and David Smith: How to Be Good Guys (Episode #82)
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