We all know that being a mom itself can be a full-time job, as shown by a study indicating that women balancing a career with motherhood work an average of 98 hours per week. This Mother’s Day, we wanted to feature four Appirians juggling successful, senior-level careers through the demands of motherhood.
Gloria Ramchandani is a Sr. Business Analyst in Research & Development. She ensures the customers’ needs are being effectively analyzed and transformed into solutions. She lives in Atlanta and has a daughter Gia (3 years) and a son Ario (1 month).
Kimberly Cason is Sr. Manager of Learning and Development in San Francisco. She educates Appirians through tools, learning sessions, and online classes. She has a full house, with three boys (11, 15, 16) and two girls (6, 13).
Bharti Mehta lives in Dublin. She is a Sr. Technical Lead, responsible for the overall technical implementation of a project. She has twin daughters, Dhriti and Dhruvi (9 years).
Elizabeth Friedland is the Sr. Director of Corporate Communications in Indianapolis. She helps tell Appirio’s story to media, analysts, customers, and our own employees. She has been a single foster mother since May 2016, fostering six infants (and counting). She is in the process of adopting her one-year-old foster son, Jack.
How would your kids describe your job?
Gloria: “Mommy likes to work on the computer and talk to her work friends on video.”
Kimberly: My 13-year-old daughter describes my job as “secret computer work!” My 16-year-old son says that I work in the technology industry. My 11-year-old son says, “Mom works on computers.” My 6-year-old daughter says, “Mom does video calls and talks about stuff on her video calls.”
Bharti: “My mom is an Engineer. An engineer is a person who builds or plans stuff.”
“My mom does some work on her laptop.”
Elizabeth: "Mom presses buttons on the computer and talks a lot. It looks super fun, and I try to press buttons on the computer too, but she never lets me. So then I throw tantrums."
How do you feel Appirio supports work-life balance for working parents?
Gloria: Appirio fully supports work-life balance for working parents. I couldn't be any happier, and I really enjoy my job. Appirio makes it easy for working parents to do their job and focus on family when it is necessary. Most importantly, Appirio uses technology that just makes sense, allowing us to work from anywhere and on any device!
Kimberly: Appirio supports work life balance by providing an opportunity for employees to work in a supportive environment both in the office and at home. Appirio also provides professional development opportunities to invest in our continuous growth. Through Silver Lining, there are family-oriented volunteer activities, which are always great. My family and I have participated in Light the Night Walk for Leukemia & Lymphoma and the Spirit of Wipro Run. We had loads of fun!
Bharti: We have the flexibility to work from home, as well as flexibility in what times we work. If I am taking responsibility for my work, no one really asks what time I am working.
Elizabeth: I don't think I would be able to be a single foster mother if I worked at a traditional company. Parenting solo means my schedule can be insane between doctors appointments, various legal and court dates that are required when you're fostering, and so on. It's amazing to have the flexibility to be in control of my own work and schedule. Appirio values outcomes, not hours. We don't glorify working long hours just for the sake of saying you did it — it's about producing awesome results for our customers, not clocking in and out at certain times.
Share a funny story about your kids and work. Have they ever caused an embarrassing moment when working from home?
Gloria: Absolutely, yes! There was one time that I temporarily relocated my desk to my bedroom, since my daughter was home sick. My husband was watching my daughter for the day, and I had one last important call with our Chief Architect & Director of Architecture at Appirio. Keep in mind that we use Google Hangouts for meetings, so video is on for all of us. Ten minutes into the call, my daughter sprints into the room and starts climbing on the bed and saying "hi." I tried very hard to contain my laughter while explaining something very serious. Let's just say the meeting went well and everyone got a good laugh!
Kimberly: I had an early morning meeting during the time my kids prepare to leave for school. My 15-year-old chose to make his lunch just as I was giving an update to my team. My 11-year-old chimes in and says, “Mom, have you seen my jacket?” The other kids thought it was okay to ask me a question at that point, so I had all five kids asking me for something at the same time — all while I am giving an update. Mid-sentence, I said to the team, “Excuse me,” then to my kids, “I am on the phone!” They all froze for three seconds, then went about getting ready for school.
Bharti: When they were small, they always wanted to see who I was talking to on my calls. Sometimes they wanted to hear and speak in the calls. Last Christmas, they learned a dance that they kept practising during their winter break. Normally noise does not distract me while I work, but this activity did because I was enjoying it!
Elizabeth: What I love about Appirio is that we get to know each other so well thanks to video meetings from our homes. It's so fun to see my colleague's kids pop in and out of their home offices! Jack hasn't caused too many embarrassing moments yet, but he will try to add his ideas to a meeting sometimes with some cute babbling!
How have your coworkers supported you in motherhood?
Gloria: I have a huge support system here at Appirio. My managers and coworkers have been very understanding about doctor's visits for both myself and my children. I have gone through two pregnancies here at Appirio and can say that leadership made the process much easier for me and my family by being so accommodating and understanding — because they have been in my shoes at some point. That's one thing that I love about being here, everyone gets that your family comes first and that if you give your employees the time off that they need, they come back to work being even more productive and efficient.
Kimberly: My coworkers are very supportive when it comes to my children. Though some of my kid stories may be boring, my coworkers still listen attentively and even chuckle every now and then.
Bharti: When my kids are in the office, my coworkers ensure they are comfortable. Our office manager sometimes provides activity books to keep the girls engaged. Sometimes they get a spare laptop to watch videos while I am working. I am an Indian citizen and moved to Dublin three years back. In the first year of that period, a situation came up where my husband had to travel to India, leaving the three of us alone without many friends in the city. During that period I became very sick for a few days. My team helped me by getting appropriate medicine. Some of them even took responsibility for dropping my kids off at school or collecting them after!
Elizabeth: One day my childcare plans fell through. Jack was only a few months old and the nanny called in sick at the last minute. I scrambled to find a substitute sitter, but no one was available on such short notice. That day I had a meeting I needed to lead in person at the Indy office, so I decided I would just take Jack with me. At first I was nervous that people might not be thrilled with me bringing a baby into the office, but I could not have been more wrong; there was a literal line of people wanting to hold and play with Jack! I ran my meeting with Jack strapped to me in a baby carrier (he slept through the whole thing!). Even better, when I had to take a meeting with my boss, our CMO, she thought it was awesome that I brought Jack into work. I remember her saying that I was like the heroine in a chick flick -- the go-getter career woman making single motherhood and climbing the corporate ladder work at the same time!
We are so thankful for these women’s contributions to Appirio and love seeing how they integrate their families with work. Are you a working mother seeking a more family-friendly culture? View our opportunities to join the team!