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Issue #55: Parents in tech


James Costa

June 12 · Issue #55 · View online

A batch of thoughts, resources, and motivation from a friendly digital agency owner delivered every Monday at 6am ET.

“I rarely get to see my kids. That’s a risk you have to take.”
Jason originally noted that this promotes unhealthy workaholism, but I believe this goes deeper than that. This is a representation of the systemic issues that face parents in tech. We have unrealistic expectations for parents, and while this quote is a slap across the face for every parent fighting to balance work and family, this is something we’re all unconsciously feeding.
Many parents in leadership positions in tech have to put family on hold because the same opportunities aren’t given to parents that are given to single people who can invest themselves completely in their work. Meanwhile, parents have the most to lose and therefore have more motivation to make things work. Parents in leadership positions run teams more thoughtfully and focus on sustainable growth strategies.
From evening events to unhealthy work habits engrained in culture, parents are often given the option to prosper and sacrifice, or plateau and maintain family. As teams mature and have families, culture depends on adapting to the needs of individuals to keep talent. We mock the 9-to-5 as a grind, but often it’s a necessity to facilitate children’s schedules. Being conscious of that perspective is important and will also help to combat workaholism.
We need more parent role models in tech sharing their stories (and, more importantly, being given a stage to do so). We need more accessible events, resources, and opportunities that parents can be a part of without sacrificing one part of their lives for another. But more importantly, we need to change the way we view and value work and the importance of parents in our industry.
PS: If you enjoyed this week’s issue, I’d really appreciate your support sharing it. Whether you forward this to a friend, post on Twitter, or send me some Ethereum as a tip, it would mean the world.

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“When we combine very real workplace inequalities with these romantic opt-out stories, the idea that “having it all” is a laughable goal becomes enshrined as immutable truth. And when we portray opting out as a simple matter of “choice,” we ignore the systematic problems that make combining work and [parenthood] so difficult.”
― Emily Matchar
I have to be honest to you. This week’s post barely made it out due to a centipede incident Sunday evening. Thankfully the only thing harmed was ego, sanity, and sleep.
As always, if you have any questions or I can help you in any way, all you have to do is respond to this email!
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