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: Vanessa Barretto
Company and Position:
Director, Residential Advertising
Age of your kids :
4.5 years 3 years, and 9 months
How has Motherhood grown you as a leader?
In countless ways. It has made me more adaptable to change, compassionate to others and myself, effective at communicating, and optimistic.
Compassion is the trait that motherhood has grown me the most. Prior to becoming a mom I could sometimes be a leader who solely focused on outcomes and results. Having children made me realize that everyone has a lot going on in the background that you might not see. By being more in tune with what team members were going through personally and often outside of work, I became a more supportive leader. In doing this it helped me build stronger relationships and engagement with my team and colleagues, and ultimately, better results followed.
What are some unique challenges you have faced in growing your career and your family
I had my kids close together and took 3 maternity leaves in 5 years. It often felt like my career was taking a pause and that I was missing out on opportunities for career growth. I think what I learned from this was: 1) There is no value in comparing myself to others, focusing on my own path was key 2) If I couldn’t move up, I sought opportunities to move out and was able to take on interesting cross-functional roles 3) Timing can be everything so I adopted the mindset of ‘if not now, later’.
Do you have any advice, thoughts or quotes for other mothers who are growing their careers and their families?
I think as a society we are not honest enough about some of the challenges of pregnancy, postpartum, parental leave and motherhood. For example the effects of social isolation, sleep deprivation, constant guilt, inner criticism and household workloads. I applaud the work Maturn is doing in tackling just this. Normalizing the highs and lows, and equipping mothers with research, information and the skills to be healthier. The impact is mothers can be more confident so both their home life and career can flourish.
My favourite quote is: Motherhood is amazing. And then it is really hard. And then it is incredible. And then it is everything in between. So, hold on to the good, breathe through the bad, and welcome the wildest and most wonderful ride of your life. – Unknown