By: Nadine El Hassan, Public relations regional Leader, Deloitte Middle East

“How do you manage a job with kids, sleep deprivation and after-school activities?” is probably in the top 3 questions that I’ve been consistently asked since the birth of my first child back in 2012. To which I reply with an air of pure nonchalance “Oh it’s not so difficult. It really all boils down to proper time management.”

Truth be told I’m pretty awful at time management. Although properly being able to juggle work and life requirements is crucial to staying relevant in the workplace and raising functional little people, no amount of balance would suffice if you do not have the corporate backing, so to speak. The system that I’ve built for myself and my family with the firm’s support works and I am, proudly, a working mother of 3 kids under 6.

The business world is changing at lightning speed, and geographical, space and any other kind of boundaries previously associated with women dropping out of the business world in order to focus on building and raising families are slowly being erased. We are, after all, on the cusp of a new Industrial Revolution. Dubbed Industry 4.0, this transformation will fundamentally change the current way of doing business. It is characterized by the marriage of physical and digital technologies, such as analytics, artificial intelligence, cognitive computing and the internet of things (IoT).

But will Industry 4.0 bring with it Motherhood 4.0? A transformation where the so called “motherhood penalty*” will no longer exist, and women and more specifically mothers will have the same track to run to reach leadership positions as their male counterparts have, instead of having tracks lined with hurdles that are basically non-existent where their male colleagues are concerned?

I mentioned somewhere at the beginning of this post that I am proudly, a working mother of 3 kids under 6. What I need to add to this sentence to make it more accurate is that I am a very fortunate working mother of 3 kids under 6. I am lucky enough to work in a firm that respects working mothers, fully acknowledges their contribution to both top and bottom lines, and creates flexible work arrangements to allow them to keep climbing the corporate ladder and reach top leadership positions through their motherhood journey.

Whether Motherhood 4.0 is the new reality we are heading toward globally and in the region, Deloitte Middle East is already there, at the forefront, leading the change. At least where me and my 3 little ones are concerned.

*Motherhood penalty refers to disparity in pay, workplace esteem, etc encountered by women who are mothers compared to men or women without children (Collins dictionary)

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