6 Good Reasons Why Mothers Make Better Leaders

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Before I became a mom, I never thought of myself as a leader. I had been working entry- to mid-level jobs and thought that leaders were my “supervisors”. A leader, in my mind, had to be a certain age, behave a certain way, and hold a certain authority. I knew many people I considered leaders – but certainly not me!

Once I left corporate life to pursue full-time motherhood, I knew I was wrong all along. As a new mother, I suddenly felt like a true leader. I know that in the business world, leadership comes with titles, authority and income but in the sanctity of my home, I was a leader, regardless of what happened in the outside world.

What Makes Moms So Special?

Being a mom teaches women so many values and skills that help them do well in their careers. Things such as emotional intelligence, willingness to compromise, coaching skills, and above all resilience in the face of adversity and overwhelm, are all things that make great leaders. 

Studies show that over 80% of working moms in America make their companies more successful compared to their male counterparts because they’re such great leaders. Most mothers who return to full-time work, after being given ample time to bond with their littles (and I am not talking just 3 months!), come back extremely motivated and with a new set of amazing leadership skills.

So, why do we keep acting like motherhood somehow diminishes a woman’s professional worth? When actually motherhood transforms us and makes us more skilled, better at our jobs, and even more passionate about our work?

People have been arguing about this topic online for ages, and it’s become the subject of many opinion pieces and scientific studies. It’s one of those touchy subjects that can cause misunderstandings and hurt feelings. We’ve all seen great and not-so-great male and women leaders, so it’s clear that anyone can be a great leader if they have the right qualities and intentions. But, it’s interesting to think about whether mothers, in particular, have some qualities that make them better leaders. We should ask ourselves why this is the case and what we can learn from it.

Let’s see then how, exactly, working moms are more successful leaders.

How Does Motherhood Make Women Better Leaders?

In order to understand what makes a good leader, we need to take a little detour to the past. Back then, business leaders were expected to be harsh, undemocratic, decisive, and assertive. Markedly, very “male” traits. However, today we value leaders who have emotional intelligence, are willing to compromise and collaborate with others. It is no surprise that around half of American workers attribute these positive leadership skills to mothers. As our expectations have evolved, more and more women are taking on senior leadership positions, such as in executive government positions. We have realized that soft skills like these lead to better business results, and women, especially mothers, tend to excel in them.

So what exactly do mothers bring to the table that is so special?

1. They Bring Fresh Ideas and Perspectives

We know that one of the key ingredients in the success of any organization is the addition of diverse experiences and fresh perspectives, which play a significant role in fostering innovation as well as better decision-making. 

A 2021 Harvard Business School report found that firms became more open to change after female leaders joined the top management team. The study showed that women not only brought new perspectives but they also changed how the C-suite thought about innovation, ultimately enabling these firms to consider a wider variety of strategies.

2. They’re Better Listeners

One of the most important leadership abilities is how to listen well. A great business leader knows that and places a lot of emphasis on good communication skills such as active listening. This can help employees feel more respected, confident, and committed to their work. Power moms are often in situations where they try to see things from their child’s point of view.

Moms will always take the time to listen to them and try to understand where they’re coming from. When they use the same approach with their team, coworkers, or clients, it can help break down any communication barriers, and make it easier for everyone to achieve their goals. Plus, it helps to build a strong foundation of trust and respect in their relationships

3. They’re Focused On What Matters

Whether in their personal or professional lives – moms are constantly expected to solve problems and handle crises. Successful moms know that it’s not about doing everything, it’s about doing the right things.

Moms often distinguish between what is urgent and what is important and know how to prioritize tasks accordingly. They’re empathetic and can persevere through difficult situations. Rather than complaining, moms always look for solutions to problems and remain calm in complicated situations. They can help themselves and others by focusing on what truly matters and putting their time and energy into that. Above all, moms will always find a way to handle any challenges that come their way in the best possible manner.

That’s why moms are phenomenal sources of guidance for their teams. Great mothers have perfected their crisis management and problem-solving skills and can handle any situation with ease. When they pair this with their natural leadership skills, they make better decisions, can delegate tasks more efficiently, and can push their team to achieve success.

4. They’re Empathetic Leaders

Moms and women, in general, make amazing leaders because they know how important it is to have a balanced life. In the corporate world, when moms become leaders, they focus more on their team’s work-life balance, which is a key factor in employee performance, engagement, retention, and well-being. They know that it’s crucial to keep a team member’s personal life in mind, and not just their work life, which helps teams avoid burnout and function at their best.

Mothers are great at building real connections with their team members by listening patiently and without bias. They’ve honed this skill by doing the same thing with their kids and have become effective and diplomatic leaders. Every mom knows how to put in hard work, stay on task, meet everyone’s needs, and find the right solution.

5. They Provide Vision And A Growth Mindset

Some say that mothers are the C-suite for their babies—children who are small need guidance on every trivial to important matter. Moms provide the vision for that and serve as their children’s role models. They are nurturers, help their young children learn new skills and provide them with the educational leadership young humans need to grow into happy and mature adults.

When mothers apply the same leadership traits in the world of work, they instill a similar growth mindset in their teams. This ensures greater emphasis on meeting employees’ needs, promoting creative thinking, establishing the best support systems for the team and enabling the team to succeed.

6. They’re Great At Making Decisions

Mothers are phenomenal at decision-making! They often face situations that require them to make wise choices for their children. From selecting the best schooling option to ensuring their child eats immunity-boosting foods, choosing appropriate books, and buying comfortable clothes, mothers invest significant time in making key decisions. They also develop a habit of researching topics that can contribute to their child’s wellness, education, and overall development as good people.

Making informed decisions in the child’s best interest is a hallmark of good leadership. When working in a company, mothers can leverage their decision-making ability, knowledge, and research skills to shape their decisions.

Are you a leading mom, too?

I truly believe moms make exceptional natural leaders. We work 24/7, don’t take time off and truly know what matters to focus on. As a mom, I’ve learned not to waste time and to create a vision for my family’s life, make tough decisions and think outside of the box. As a working mom who also raises a child while working from home, I’ve developed a more effective leadership style than I would in years of executive management in the corporate world.

If you’re currently planning or just coming off maternity leave and want to transition your career, I have good news: I am launching a supportive group for moms just like you. In 12 weeks we will get you from unsure and unclear to confident and supported in your next steps in career and life. Peep into the program and learn more here.

And if you are a women business owner, interested in women’s leadership or developing your own leadership style, book a free 1:1 consultation with me to see how I can support you in growing as a mother and leader.

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About The Author

Julia Billings

Hi, I'm Julia! I am a working mother, professional life & leadership coach, international HR expert, and motherhood advocate. Upon becoming a mom, I quit my coveted United Nations career to pursue more flexibility and freedom so I could be able to combine professional aspirations with how I wanted to show up as a mother. In my work as a coach, consultant and facilitator, I help other moms make similar bold decisions in their careers.

My approach integrates my 7 years of experience as international career & leadership development professional, my personal journey as a mother and my proficiency as a Certified Professional Coach (CPC) holding an M.Ed.

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  1. Julia,
    This is such a good perspective! I do feel more confident in my leadership skills since becoming a mother and homeschooling all my kiddos. Thanks for the reminder!

  2. I love this & I totally agree!

  3. Thanks for building us up and reminding us mamas!

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