Working Moms That Make It Work, A Panel Discussion

21 Mar

A trio of Mom Time members led a panel discussion on the rewards and challenges of working while being a mom.

The panel consisted of Shaylisa Turner a Broker Associate at PorchLight, Susan Bross an Independent Consultant on Nonprofit Leadership and Fundraising, and Anna Clark formerly of Neva Meetings and Events, Stella & Dot stylist and soon-to-be Senior Manager of Special Events at Children’s Hospital Foundation.

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The overwhelming theme that underlined the informal discussion was finding the right balance in dividing energies and attention.

Susan Bross introduced the topic stressing a key to balance for her has been to strive to align one’s values with our daily tasks.  She suggested making a list of 20 values that one would like to manifest in our lives, and then to check the alignment of our allotted time and attention with those goals in mind.  She wisely suggested “quieting the noise” around us that informs our functioning in arenas as broad as our parenting, cooking, crafting ( or not! ) to advancing careers and professional development. Her thought is that the more we can focus on our own voice, the more closely our actions will reflect those core values.  In other words, let your authentic voice guide you.

Anna Clark gave a narrative of her work, mothering, and spousal identities that are really intertwined.  A given identity informs another.  She gently discussed the importance of timing in childrearing and career advancement.  Anna said,  “I feel that I ‘launched my young children’ through kindergarten” by being a stay-at-home mom for five years while working from home as a stylist for Stella and Dot.  The consultant-stylist form of work allowed her to volunteer as the room mom, to serve as a chairperson for the complex fundraising event (Touch a Truck) for her children’s school, and to generally be present at home.  As the kids have grown, she stressed that the readiness and challenges of returning to a full-time position surprised her. She peppered her talk with her broad adventures in everything from having started her own business to preparing to transition to a major fundraising role for a regional institution.

Shaylisa Turner reviewed her career biography which began with her studies in political science which she dovetailed into a full-time career in fundraising for political campaigns.  She was involved in financing  for successful state senatorial (Ken Salazar) and gubernatorial (Bill Ritter) elections.  She served as a civic leader under Bill Ritter, a position she really enjoyed.  She described deciding to transition away from fundraising into a more flexible position as a real estate broker.  Her new role as real estate broker allows her to help people through one of the most important decisions: ” deciding where we live shapes everything”.  This writer (Jenny McGinn) had the pleasure of traveling around the Denver Metro Area as far afield as Longmont to Evergreen and back while she showed my parents a wide array of choices.  She never wavered in patience and enthusiasm.  Shaylisa stresses the importance of building a network of support in order to balance one’s parenting a career endeavors.  She talked about having found a mentor early on in her political career, then tapping into support offered in her neighborhood and here at Mom Time.  Her role as a real estate broker is instrumental in providing a flexible work environment, one that allows her to complete work goals in transit, off the traditional time table, with the kids in tow, if needed.

Pictured here from left: Shaylisa Turner, Susan Bross, and Anna Clark

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