Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe. – Gail Devers
Short answer? Absolutely not!
The long answer is that despite what may be imagined, women – especially high flying, intelligent and ambitious career women – who take time off of work for their families do so for the same reason companies and others hire them, excellence.
So why do companies and others resist re-hiring them or treat them like they have missed the boat when they decide to re-join others in full-time jobs and contracts?
The truth is that driven women who take time off rarely forget about their careers, in fact, I have seen that the key aspect to look for when re-hiring a professional woman is to look at what she has done during her sabbatical. One will most often find that they have gained knowledge, attended courses, freelanced, volunteered, and many other things that keep them in the working loop. Those whose careers are hurt are those who sit idle, do not look at learning something new and do not commit to staying productive to the best of their ability and availability.
Add on to that the mentally and physically demanding role of taking care of their children full-time, children who need mentors, guidance and constant problem solving that those in the workplace do not have an opportunity to practice.
In fact, these are the same women who constantly follow news and advancements in their respective industries, attend conference and get exposed to new people, new knowledge and new opportunities taking on risks that those in full-time jobs wish they had the opportunity for.
The bottom line is that each of us have a path and no path is right and no path is wrong. We all do our best.
What does need to happen is to recognize people for who they are and that once they are hard-working, intelligent, ambitious, creative, innovative … they will always be hard-working, intelligent, ambitious, creative, innovative; it is not the job that makes them so, it is their character.
While I commend organizations who are now turning to these women and supporting their return to work, my recommendation is to be careful about the wording of such endeavors and instead, focus on hiring the right person for the right job without indirectly discriminating against choices they have made.
Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net