In today's fast-paced corporate world, women who navigate the dual roles of executive leadership and motherhood demonstrate remarkable strength and perseverance. As we honor Mother's Day, it is crucial to acknowledge the unique challenges and rewards that come with balancing these demanding yet fulfilling roles.

Motherhood often enhances leadership qualities. Parenthood fosters empathy, patience, and resilience—qualities that are highly valued in the corporate world. Studies have shown that mothers often develop skills such as multitasking, effective communication, and emotional intelligence, which are essential for effective management. As a leader, understanding the challenges faced by working mothers within the team is essential. Implementing supportive policies, such as flexible working hours, remote work options, and childcare support, can significantly alleviate the burden on working mothers and improve overall productivity and employee satisfaction.

Amy Edmondson, a leading expert on psychological safety in the workplace, emphasizes the importance of creating a safe and inclusive environment where employees feel valued and supported. This is particularly important for working mothers, who often face unique challenges in balancing their professional and personal lives. By fostering a culture of empathy and understanding, leaders can create a supportive environment where working mothers can thrive.

Research by McKinsey & Company underscores the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on working mothers, highlighting the disproportionate challenges they faced, such as increased household responsibilities and heightened burnout. This further illustrates the need for organizations to offer supportive measures and foster environments where working mothers can succeed.

As an executive mother, I believe that I have the unique opportunity to build a legacy, not only for my children but also for the organizations I lead and the communities I serve. By demonstrating resilience and empathy, I can set an example for future generations, showing that it is possible to achieve professional success while maintaining a fulfilling family life. Support systems play a critical role and having a supportive spouse, family, or community can make a world of difference in managing the demands of both executive roles and motherhood. Building and nurturing these support systems has been vital for achieving my balance and thriving in both areas.

Through my experience, I've learned that there is no universal solution for balancing executive success and motherhood. Every woman has different circumstances, preferences, and aspirations, and what works for one may not work for another. Therefore, it's essential to define one's own vision of success and happiness and pursue it with confidence and determination.

I've also learned that balance is not a static state but a dynamic and flexible one. As an executive and a mother, there are always competing demands and changing situations that require constant adjustment and adaptation. Sometimes, work takes precedence; other times, family comes first. The key is to be flexible and adaptable, and to accept that perfection is not possible or desirable. Instead of striving for an unrealistic ideal, I focus on finding harmony between my professional and personal roles and making the most of each moment.

Because balancing executive success and motherhood is an ongoing and daily learning journey, in my personal journey, I am still learning how to set and live with realistic and flexible goals while prioritizing my well-being. Each day, I strive to celebrate my achievements and learn from my mistakes, while continually growing in both my professional and personal lives.

Have a great and impactful week!

Ana Casaca
Global Head of Innovation at Galp