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Juggling deadlines, conference calls, and bedtime stories is the life of a working mom in tech. But between the controlled chaos, moms possess a superpower that makes them thrive in this fast-paced environment. 

Let's face it: Moms are the original hackers. We've been rewiring routines, optimizing nap schedules, and inventing entirely new communication systems (toddler jibberish, anyone?) since day one. We're the queens of prioritization, ninjas of negotiation (ever tried to get a toddler to leave the playground?), and masters of creative problem-solving (a tantrum can rival any critical bug).

These skills we hone as moms translate beautifully into the world of technology. From managing complex projects to fostering strong, collaborative teams, moms are natural leaders who build bridges and get things done. 

We are often taught in school that every person thinks differently and to be mindful of different learning styles,” says Kendall Carroll, Product Strategy Lead at Alteryx. "I thought I 'got' this before I was a mom, but I really didn’t. I thought my son would learn just like I do, and boy, he does not."

Motherhood has made me more direct in my framing and more flexible in problem-solving. I try to do a better job of giving clear expectations so that there is no ambiguity. When kids (and adults) know what is expected of them, they are much more likely to succeed. Simultaneously, I want to allow enough autonomy for independence and problem-solving skills to develop.


Kendall Carroll

Product Strategy Lead at Alteryx

This Mother's Day, let's celebrate moms in tech and the incredible value they bring. They're the secret weapon that will help us build the future of technology, one innovative solution at a time.

How Moms Make Tech Teams Thrive

Moms approach challenges with a unique blend of resourcefulness and ingenuity, fueled by unwavering determination. The tech industry’s constant evolution, combined with its need for fresh perspectives, makes it the perfect playground for these skills.

I asked our community of moms in tech leadership positions how they create a more inclusive environment.

“Time management is THE critical skill in both parenting and managing a tech team, notes Reshma Khilnani, Co-founder and CEO of Medplum. “Other parenting skills that have carried over from motherhood include prioritization, staying on task, and maintaining a backlog of items.” 

Some parts of working life are really hard for parents - but you have little awareness of that before you become a parent.

Reshma continues, "Work travel and the difficulty of managing the days where a child has no school or is sick but you have to work can be challenging. One way I try to build an inclusive and understanding environment at Medplum for working parents is to limit the number of afternoon meetings, as I know afternoons can consist of more child management than other times of the day. We also strive for a culture where work can be done asynchronously, as that helps those who need flexibility - often parents."

Open source companies, due to the nature of the communities, develop a lot of asynchronous working skills which reduces the number of meetings needed overall.


Reshma Khilnani

Co-founder and CEO of Medplum

Slavena Hristova of global intelligent automation company ABBYY shares, “Every working mother understands that life situations are different, priorities change, unexpected situations occur – basically life happens. And every working mother understands that taking care of your family’s needs and personal responsibilities and caring deeply for your career and work responsibilities are not mutually exclusive. Rather, you learn to prioritize, utilize time and resources better, and become more efficient and more focused.”

Accepting that life continues to happen while we are busy working and trusting that responsible co-workers will do whatever is needed to manage their responsibilities is a great step towards an inclusive environment that respects employees as humans.


Slavena Hristova

Director of Product Marketing, ABBYY

“Measuring employee impact instead of hours worked is an inclusivity tactic that I have found important when working with caregivers,” states Kendall. “As a mother, I often have to take a child to the doctor or juggle changing childcare schedules. Working asynchronously allows me to continue impacting my team and be there for my family. The best technology leaders that I’ve worked with are more focused on the results of their global teams than the hours worked, supporting an inclusive environment for caregivers.”

In terms of building inclusive teams to begin with, Reshma notes, “Inclusivity has many dimensions. At Medplum, we’re proud that two thirds of the company is parents. There are simple things we practice at Medplum that we hope foster a more inclusive environment. For example, we have team lunches versus happy hours, which many parents often have to miss due to end-of-day childcare responsibilities.”

Diversity of experience and diversity of thought are undervalued. And by experience, I don’t necessarily mean career experience.


Michelle Suzuki

CMO at Glassbox

Life is full of challenges and opportunities, and how a person reacts to and learns from those experiences curates who they become as human beings, expresses Michelle Suzuki, CMO at Glassbox. "That rainbow of experiences makes a team stronger and better. I always want to create a workplace for my team that is very fluid, with lots of room for work-life balance. This "balance" is sometimes used flippantly as a catchphrase, but maintaining an equilibrium between work and home is vital.

Shattering Stereotypes and Leading The Way

When it comes to stereotypes mothers have encountered in tech leadership roles, Slavena explains, “I have noticed that it often is taken for granted that women own the “busy work,” the organizing, the “keeping the trains going,” especially if you happen to be the only woman in the room, which is still not uncommon in tech. This is tightly related to motherhood - mothers are known for being the default parent, carrying the bigger portion of the “mental load,” and juggling family and career."

Women are simply good at multitasking, making sure needs are met and no one is left behind. And while this should not be a free ticket to letting co-workers unload less desired tasks onto you, I believe women can use these capabilities to their advantage – it is very helpful to know how things work in order to be able to lead the way forward.


Slavena Hristova

Director of Product Marketing, ABBYY

Michelle adds, “I think there's a concept that women need to work harder than men in order to achieve career heights. While I think women in leadership positions in tech work incredibly hard to prove their worth, they also work very smart. In my experience, women tend to multitask in very efficient ways. I think a lot of that comes from the way we manage motherhood, juggling all the demands of work and home.”

During my first pregnancy, a coworker asked me if I would be “coming back to work” after my son was born,” shares Kendall. “I had just worked hard to get my MBA and make the transition to a role in product – of course I was coming back!"

Stand up for yourself when you see stereotypes surface and continue to be strategic in picking projects that add value so that your impact is quantifiable.


Kendall Carroll

Product Strategy Lead at Alteryx

Empowering the Next Generation: Advice for Aspiring Leaders

Michelle emphasizes the importance of remembering that each step in your career is meaningful, but it isn't everything in life. "Maintaining your social circle, a relationship with your partner, and time with your children if you choose to have them are important as well. I doubled down on my career for the first ten years after university. I waited to have a family—almost until it was too late. I'm grateful for a patient and supportive husband, without whom I could not have achieved as much in my career.”

Be bold and confident! If you are passionate about technology, do not be intimidated by the more male-dominated tech industry, and do not let gender stereotypes dampen your enthusiasm. Find mentors (male or female) who believe in you and help you grow and develop. Find female role models, and you will quickly realize that powerful women in tech enrich the conversation by providing a different perspective and a unique approach.


Slavena Hristova

Director of Product Marketing, ABBYY

From the CTOs to the coders, moms are making their mark on every corner of the tech industry.  These diverse voices and perspectives are what fuel innovation and progress. 

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers who are building the future, not just at home, but in the world of technology!

By Katie Sanders

As a data-driven content strategist, editor, writer, and community steward, Katie helps technical leaders win at work. Her 14 years of experience in the tech space makes her well-rounded to provide technical audiences with expert insights and practical advice through Q&As, Thought Leadership, Ebooks, etc.