Each month Maturn will be highlighting a current member of the Maturn community who is growing both their career and their family.
This month our highlighted member is: Qwuy’um’aat Elliott
Company and Position:
Senior Strategic Advisor, BC Housing, Owner/Principle, Ever Plan Consulting, Instructor, Vancouver Island University
Age of your kids :
4 months and 10 years old
How has Motherhood grown you as a leader?
Motherhood is a core part of my identity. I believe being a mother has expanded my worldview, shaped my outlook, and continued to inform my personal and professional practice. Motherhood and career trajectories can co-exist and rather work together therefore, I strive to create and contribute to inclusive and forward-thinking workplaces.
As a leader, I strive to embed reconciliation, inclusivity, and equity in all that I do, and I firmly believe the work starts at home. Especially as an Indigenous mother, the healing, decolonizing, and Indigenizing starts at home. Modern terms call it gentle and attachment parenting, however, for decades and centuries, First Nations parenting has existed and is being reclaimed. Operating from a place of alignment, I can actively contribute to workplaces that align people and policies, creating thriving organizations and healthy communities.
What are some unique challenges you have faced in growing your career and your family
I’ve recognized early on that the modern world and despite Canada being a developed country, we are still very much out of tune in creating space for parenthood, children, and community. Our societal systems and structures do not center our children, youth, mother, and parents, as it did perhaps, 3-4 generations ago, from an Indigenous perspective. However, despite our evident reality, I continue to strive to be a good mother, grow my career and go after my dreams, and let nothing shake or move my high ideals and aspirations. It is too easy to fall into the beliefs of others, however, there is not a single approach or guide to parenting, rather there are a ton of books, podcasts, and studies with differing and often contradicting perspectives. I’ve learned early on, to do what feels right, to do what feels good, and to truly, tune out the noise. There are several factors that influence parenting and career decisions – income, lifestyle, priorities, education, number of children, level of support, access to services and amenities and so much more. Not two stories are ever the same, very much as no two children are the same.
Do you have any thoughts or quotes for other mothers who are growing their careers and their families?
You can have it all. You can have the family, career and your dreams come true. Happiness is the goal – children, partner, and self. It is also okay to change your mind halfway through, and to try something else. Every waking day is an opportunity for change, growth, and success. For me, everything is a mindset.
Which Maturn program you are participating in?
I’m participating in the Maternity Leave Program.