For the kick-off-blog for our "mom-in-technology" MIT corner, we caught up with Kelly Begeny, Director of Channel & Product Marketing here at DSM to see what words of wisdom we could glean. DSM is highly supportive of diversity in the workplace and a big promoter of woman-in-technology, and learning from our leaders is one of the best ways to promote advice to other women in the field.
DSM Question: How do you juggle 2 full time Jobs? (mom & director)
Kelly: I hear this a lot, that being a mom and having a full time job is like having two full time jobs. I stopped being so definitive in those terms because there's so much negativity out there, whether you are a stay at home mom or a working mom. Instead of thinking about it as juggling, I think about it as the life I chose and sometimes they do collide, but I stay open and honest about what I'm doing with my family and my job. I used to be afraid to tell my employer if one of my children got sick, again, or telling my three year old I have to travel, again, but keeping an open line of communication and thinking positively about it helps tremendously. Both things make me happy and contribute to who I am as a person.
Q: You were recently promoted to Director, what's your 'secret' to being successful at work and taking on a leadership role even as your family is expanding?
A: It wasn't until I had my first baby girl in 2013 that my drive to be a leader really kicked in. There was something about knowing I was going to be a mom of a little girl that made me want to impress her. Now I have two baby girls and I want them to see that you can be a mom and a leader and do both well. The secret is watching other women have amazing careers and wonderful families and taking tips from them. I am never afraid to ask questions and ask for advice. I had a female boss with two kids and she gave me great advice about making sure you are giving your all to those you choose to give your all to. Set aside "mommy time" for each child. Let them know that when they are in school, mommy is working, but when they get out of school mommy has an hour for playtime. In any given moment I am fully immersed in what I am doing. Playing hide and seek with my kids or speaking to a partner about the cloud.
Q: What does your morning routine look like?
A: Simple - have everything ready to go the night before! Sometimes you just don't want to do it, you just want to go to bed, but it makes like so much easier. Have you ever tried to pick out clothes with a three year old in the morning? I let my toddler choose what she wants to wear before she goes to bed and when I wake her up, first thing I do is get her dressed.
Also, I take the baby to a home daycare and my three year old to school, and with traffic, school zones, a Starbucks run, this can take upwards of 45 minutes to an hour. I make sure to spend the first part of my ride talking to the girls, then shedule calls or make calls on my way to my home office.
Q: What are the top 3 most-used apps on your iPhone?
A: Outlook, Slack, and Podcasts. Now my favorite apps? Facebook, Lululemon, Amazon.
Q: What's your latest tech purchase that helps you juggle work & mom?
A: AirPods, definitely. These little gadgets are amazing and I keep them with me at all times.
Q: What advice would you give to a first time working mom who may have just had their first baby and is looking to continue to stay in the workforce?
A: It's hard. You will cry when you first drop your child off at daycare and come into work. You will feel guilt. But if you are going back to work, or thinking of going back to work, you probably have a good reason to do so. Whether its financial or just because you enjoy working, you're doing what's right for you and your family and you will always be mommy to them. I was a daycare child and you know what? I don't even remember. All I remember was being loved, and that's all that matters.
Join the conversation! Are you a woman-in-technology or a mom-in tech? What other tips/tricks and words of encouragement do you have?