High-powered corporate executive Katharine Zaleski has penned an open letter for Fortune magazine, apologising to working mothers for doubting their commitment to their jobs throughout her entire career.
The president of PowerToFly, an organisation promoting work-life balance for women, says she never realised how “horrible” she had been to other mothers until she had kids of her own.
In her letter, Ms Zaleski recalls the various times she discriminated against mothers in the workforce by assuming their work ethic was lower than her own.
“I still am embarrassed by this memory,” Ms Zaleski writes.
“Five years ago I walked into an office on the twenty-fifth floor of the Manhattan headquarters of Time Inc.
“I was there to meet with Time.com’s then managing editor and pitch a partnership idea, but once I took a seat and surveyed the endless photos of her small children spread across the airy space, I decided this editor was too much of a mother to follow up on the idea.”
“She wasn’t the first and only mother whose work ethic I silently slandered.”
Ms Zaleski proceeds to argue the case for women working from home, saying this would allow them to boost their productivity and care for their children.
She adds that mothers have extra incentive to work harder and more efficiently that others.
“Moms work hard to meet deadlines because they have a powerful motivation – they want to be sure they can make dinner, pick a child up from school, and yes, get to the gym for themselves,” Ms Zaleski writes.
Many working mothers have reacted to Ms Zaleski’s article on Twitter, accepting her apology and lauding her for openly acknowledging her mistakes.
“Glad you’ve had your epiphany,” Twitter user Sarah Woodward wrote. “I’m mom 3.5 hours daily & an exec 16 hours. We work harder than EVERYONE.”
— Priyanka Ghosh (@priyankaghosh) March 3, 2015