A group on panelists discuss parenthood on the Blended podcast on Let's Talk Supply Chain.

318: Blended – Parenthood vs a Career: The Ultimate Catch 22

It’s episode 28 of Blended: I’m joined by a new panel of incredible guests and, today, we’re talking about parenthood.

Traditionally, parenthood and the workplace are areas that have been kept separate and many, particularly women, have been forced to choose between them, as taking time out to have children impacts their career progression and financial situation. Increasingly though, parents are looking to achieve a more healthy work-life balance. But, although some employers are starting to pay attention, many still don’t believe that conversations around family belong in the workplace, and parental rights and flexibility continue to leave a lot to be desired.

So, as always, we want to use this platform here on Blended to have these conversations, keep them top of mind and hopefully help to influence some positive change out in the world.

Today, our guests will be sharing their experiences of parenthood; maternity, paternity and grievance leave; learning from our parent’s mistakes; modeling boundaries; and the negative impact of a focus on productivity over parenthood.



[00.16] Introductions to our Blended panelists.

“I realized early on in my own parenting that I wouldn’t be someone who was completely consumed by providing – I wanted to be present as a father. But there’s a real wrestle with that, as a founder.” Jonathan

  • Margo – aka CargoMargo and Director of Sales at NFI
  • Jonathan – CEO of Shipz and host of Let’s Talk Supply Chain AsiaPac
  • Caralynn – Marketing and Content Team Lead at AuditMiner
  • Jason – Brand Director at Supply Chain and Green
  • Lisa – Supply Chain Manager

“The best views are from the highest climbs.” Margo

[08.56] The group shares their personal experiences of parenthood – the ups, downs and in-betweens – and how they relate to the workplace.

“I learned growing up that you can do it all: you can be a Mom and you can be successful in your career, and I took that with me coming into the working world.” Caralynn

  • Caralynn’s experience as an only child with a successful working mother
  • Jason’s experience as a busy working father
  • Fear of missing out
  • Pride in seeing your children grow, and seeing their goals met and achievements reached
  • Special moments missed due to work
  • Mom/Dad guilt
  • How technology can help
  • Lisa’s experience of re-entering the workplace, and now helping other women do the same
  • Gender pay gap
  • Men as allies
  • Influencing your own children to make the impact we need to see in the future
  • Jonathan’s experience as a founder and father of four
  • Feelings of anger, resentment and being trapped within the workplace
  • Finding the balance
  • As a father, not being consumed by responsibility and providing for the family
  • Better accommodating mothers and their needs in the workplace
  • Margo’s experience of mothers wearing negative experiences as a badge of honor
  • Length of maternity leave
  • Expense of childcare
  • Work expectations placed on women during maternity leave or even labor

“You can only do what you can do… but technology has been a great thing – if I’m missing one of my son’s games, I get to watch it on my mobile device.” Jason

[30.19] The panel discusses maternity, paternity and grievance leave, and how the different lengths of time offered impact parents.

“I set more boundaries than my Mom, and I think that’s the biggest difference generationally… if we can learn that a young age, it’s so much easier for us to advocate for ourselves.” Caralynn

  • Men ridiculing other men for taking leave, “man up”
  • Expectations of the next generation
  • Policy and government
  • Being intentional with where you work, finding the right culture
  • Advocating for change
  • Assumptions about mothers
  • Other paths to parenthood, eg surrogacy, adoption, step-parents
  • Treating people as individuals
  • Setting boundaries
  • How your upbringing impacts your approach to work
  • Fear
  • Supporting partners after birth, not just the children

“There’s a focus on productivity over parenting.” Jason

[1.07.01] The group discusses the many and varied transferrable skills that parents can translate from the home to the workplace, and what employers can do better to help parents thrive in the workplace.

“I was fortunate to be home with our guys, which I’m very thankful and grateful for, but when you go to get back to work, it’s a huge challenge… and a lot of times, we as women, do not fight for our value.” Lisa

  • Putting thorough plans in place
  • Employer training programs
  • Workplace culture
  • Transferable skills
  • Flexibility
  • Shame
  • Personal transparency
  • Bringing who you are to professional spaces like LinkedIn
  • Honesty and authenticity

“If parents have access to childcare and other benefits, their productivity goes up massively and everyone benefits significantly, but there’s a huge degree of a lack of creativity by employers to engage their people – because we don’t value people.” Jonathan

[1.28.16] The panel sum-up their thoughts from today’s discussion.

“Times are changing and let’s utilize that change as leverage to have more comfortable lives and be healthier human beings.” Margo



You can connect with Margo, Lisa, Jason, Caralynn and Jonathan over on LinkedIn.

If you enjoyed this episode and would like to hear more from our guests, check out:

Check out our other podcasts HERE.

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