Mompreneurs share tips and tricks to navigate multiple responsibilities at TechSparks 2022

By Udbhavi Balakrishna
November 28, 2022, Updated on : Mon Dec 19 2022 10:29:15 GMT+0000
Mompreneurs share tips and tricks to navigate multiple responsibilities at TechSparks 2022
Mompreneurs and working mothers dived into their journeys of doing due justice to the various roles they play in the Mother-Verse track at TechSparks 2022.
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01. How do you manage cooking and household work?

02. Who will take care of your children when you’re at work?

03. Sometimes you must compromise - no one can have it all.

Working mothers and mompreneurs have long been subjected to this kind of cross-questioning, poorly disguised as concern. Every working woman finds herself constantly battling society’s doubts and questions about her capabilities should she choose to perform a second role besides being a mother. Often, this results in the showing of sexist preconceived notions by asking women to compromise between the various roles they play.


However, mompreneurs and mothers working in any capacity have been standing up to this archaic concept of forced choice between roles and simply thriving in their multiple, albeit challenging, roles.Why choose at all? ask many women leaders and working mothers, who are changing the narrative to live their fullest lives unapologetically.


A few such mompreneurs gathered on the third day of TechSparks 2022 for the ‘Mother-Verse’ track powered by Ascendion to discuss how mothers at work can do due justice to the superpower of juggling their multiple roles, and continue to excel in their careers without compromising on anything.

Nurturing one’s job and familial responsibilities

Opening the day’s discussion with the theme ‘Mums at work: Growing without compromise’, Sangeeta Shetty, Global Head of HR at Ascendion, highlighted how she wears many hats as an HR professional and a mother. Not believing that the concept of balance works for mothers, she said, On the contrary, I feel mothers have to maximise their energy.


She reflected on a period when she experienced guilt and worried about having to give up her professional goals to give more time to her personal life. With a loving support system, however, she managed to get back onto her feet, and continued to pursue her goals at Ascendion, managing a blend of her personal and professional lives.


Empathy has been the secret sauce for us at Ascendion, said Sangeeta, as she threw light on the company’s operations and highlighted a few stories of their 457 women employees who are kind mothers, thriving entrepreneurs, talented hard workers, and more. Our managers are allies to our people; we only bother about how to best support our people and the rest is done by our Ascenders,she added.


She invited all working mothers, especially those who have taken career breaks, to reach out to Ascendion to identify how they fit in with Ascendion’s goals and offerings, among its mentorship, training and support programs.

Keeping it real

Taking forward the concept of succeeding while juggling roles, Sreyssha George, MD and Partner, Boston Consulting Group shared her experiences and learnings on succeeding as a mom and founder.

Mompreneurs share tips and tricks to navigate multiple responsibilities at TechSparks 2022

Sreyssha believes that prioritisation is truly a fantastic skill to possess, both for employees and leaders, to get work done without judgement. Regardless, she acknowledged that however best one prioritises and balances their work, stress is inevitable. But at all points, when I start feeling stressed, I tell myself that this is a good feeling. It is my body telling me that [there] is something I need to prepare for or think about, she said in a fireside chat.


Becoming a mother helped her shift her perspective a little, she said, adding that mothers become more empathetic and conscious of others’ thoughts and feelings because children ground them. I think that’s why a lot of women are also good, empathetic managers,she added.


Sreyssha understands that many mompreneurs’ inability to lean on support systems is an issue that must be solved on multiple levels, and believes that solving all issues independently is not possible because we don’t work as individuals. I am very unashamed of asking for help,she said, adding that many women feel guilt and shame – especially when they are in new roles or are returning to work after a break – because they worry about whether others are judging them and their capabilities.


She recounted an incident from a couple of years ago and shares that people usually sympathise and understand family emergencies and other difficult situations one may find themselves in. When she does miss out on time with her children, she reminds herself that if they are happy and content, it is okay to miss out sometimes.

Tips and tricks to do justice to both roles

How do these mompreneurs manage a full-time job at work and home? It’s not easy to balance; balancing is completely out of the story, said Prajna Mohanty, Director - Human Resources, Ascendion, adding that it is all an effort to create harmony between one’s professional and personal hats. Participating in a panel discussion with other industry leaders, she emphasised the importance of prioritisation and understanding what drives you. The panel was moderated by Lathika Pai, Country Head of Microsoft.


Prajna identified that, while it is challenging to work from home, choosing what is most important and prioritising between the various roles is crucial. Along with that, she admits that educating her family and leaning into familial support has helped her navigate work from home.


Shoma Narayanan, Managing Director - Group Strategic Marketing & Communications at DBS India, noted that there isn’t a perfect balance; it isn’t achievable. She believes it is important for mothers to let their children know that they care and are there for them; the same goes for their teams at work.


Even though policies allow employees to work from home, Shoma admitted that working from home is stressful because she needs to establish boundaries between work and home to be 100 percent present in both places.


Pooja Sriram, Manager, Brand Communications, Chargebee, published a book for children that arose from the many poems she wrote during the pandemic. It can be used as an educational tool for tiny tots as it outlines the many experiences working mothers go through.


Since Chargebee is a remote company, there is a level of understanding and empathy among the employees. But I think it is about planning, prioritising and making peace with everything,she said.


Sangeeta believes that Ascendion’s ‘work-from-anywhere’ model and aligned work culture helps them attract and retain their employees, especially working mothers. Working hybrid or from anywhere is a matter of choice, said Sangeeta, adding that it is important that women are given the choice about when they want to work.

Mompreneurs share tips and tricks to navigate multiple responsibilities at TechSparks 2022

Prakash Balasubramanian, Executive VP, Ascendion, summarised the Mother-Verse track in his closing keynote address. Acknowledging that all the sessions were insightful and eye-opening, he hopes that the theme of working mothers’ discussions will continue hereon.


The sessions concluded with an address by Shradha Sharma, Founder and CEO, YourStory, who emphasised the importance of encouraging women to continue to succeed and excel in every role in their lives.

Mompreneurs share tips and tricks to navigate multiple responsibilities at TechSparks 2022
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