The Redesigning Wellness Podcast

238: The Plight of the Working Mom with Leslie Forde, CEO and Founder of Mom’s Hierarchy of Needs

Headshot Leslie

Being a working mom during COVID was an impossible act of balancing fulltime jobs and fulltime teaching. Pew Research Center found that working mothers were generally more likely than working fathers to say that they faced a variety of professional challenges since the beginning of COVID. In this episode, podcast guest Leslie Forde explains the impact of the pandemic on working mothers. She shares some relevant research, strategies on how employers can support mothers, and how working moms can take care of their own wellbeing.

Three Key Points:
  1. Leslie shares some strategies for individual moms – it’s figuring out what our personal priorities, what are our best highest uses, what’s that guiding North Star, and then eliminating things. One can either eliminate things from the list altogether, one can outsource them depending on the financial situation.
  2. People should begin to think about their well-being as something that’s not just good for themselves as individuals, but good for their employer. Employers know burned-out people do not produce great work and they do not come up with innovative ideas. 
  3. Another important pillar that has come up through the research is that people are struggling with their mental health. Organizations have a lot of power not just around the work conditions, and the amount of stress that people might be feeling, but they also have a lot of buying power. There are some organizations that are paying for a therapist or group therapist or group coaching or special plans or bypassing co-pays. 
Links Mentioned:

Mom’s Hierarchy of Needs Website Facebook Instagram LinkedIn Twitter Pinterest

Full Bio:

Leslie is the CEO and Founder of Mom’s Hierarchy of Needs. She has used research to inform growth and innovation strategy for over 20 years. She’s held brand management, product marketing and business development roles in consumer technology, market research, media and publishing companies. And for the past decade, focused on children’s education, mental health, childcare and eldercare.

Most recently, she held leadership positions at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and CSpace (an Omnicom market research agency.) She began her brand management career at Bausch & Lomb and Xerox. 

Over 2,500 parents have participated in her ongoing national research study on the pandemic’s impact on their lives and careers. She’s a frequent speaker, researcher, and consultant to organizations, such as HubSpot and 3M, on how to support parents in the workplace. 

Her writing about parenting, motherhood and equity has appeared in The Washington Post, Slate, Parents Magazine and her website, Mom’s Hierarchy of Needs among other publications. She’s been quoted in the New York Times, CNN,National Geographic, Fast Company, US News & World Report, and several other outlets.