Working women on campus break typical mom stereotype

Photo by Sana Ullah

Morgan Garces / Contributing Writer

Photo by Sana Ullah

The word “mom” is often related to the image of a soft and genial mother goose, but in the workplace, this image does not always follow.

At the Biscayne Bay Campus, it’s easy to find full-time mothers working at a full-time job.

Barbara Barrero,  hospitality major, notices some of these women.

“They’re more willing to accept roles. It’s a challenge, but now you can see the advancement.”

Female professors, assistants and staff may have to carry the same pressures of learning how to take on multiple titles, including disciplinary.

Sonya Robinson, office manager of the Multicultural Programs and Services at BBC has raised three kids. Robinson has worked for the University for 20 years, but not without the worry of her children in the back of her mind. She remembers working previous jobs and wondering about her children’s commute and whether or not they were walking home safely.

John Zoeller, a social studies instructor and the husband of a full-time working mother can empathize and offers some of the advice his wife uses.

“Balance [your] future career with immediate and future family concerns.”

Being equally responsible as she is with the family, he knows how difficult it can become for his wife.

“Obviously what was once a woman’s role is now shared by the spouse, but my suspicion is that most women still carry most of the responsibility.”

Simple discussions such as asking for a raise or a day off can be intimidating.

“When your kids get sick, you’re scared to call in because you have a position where you feel you must show up. There are bosses that aren’t understanding that your kids and you get sick,” said Robinson.

Common events such as maternity leave, school pick-up hours or family emergencies can be a deal breaker when applying for jobs.

Janet Rodriguez, the food service supervisor at Moe’s Southwest Grill at BBC, admits that getting to her position wasn’t too difficult because she had past managing experience, but that often times employees “won’t look to [women] for promotions and when they do, they think, ‘I won’t listen to her.’”

The Assistant Director of the Women’s Center, Sabrena O’Keefe, said employers can assume that women will be taking care of their children and it will affect how they perform at work, when it doesn’t.

“Besides getting bigger and having to take a month or two off, they’re seen as getting softer after giving birth.”

Robinson can relate to being seen as getting soft.

“You even get students who take your niceness for granted. I had a student that would come in at 6:30 when we close at 7:00 and begin to type her papers up. I’d have to have my husband take care of the kids. Don’t take us for granted. Don’t take kindness for weakness.”

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