How Do Women IT Managers Who Are Mothers Manage It All?

vWomen IT managers have to juggle a lot of different responsibilities
Women IT managers have to juggle a lot of different responsibilities
Image Credit: Anna Majkowska

Not all IT managers are created equal. In fact, some are boys and some are girls. The girl IT managers more often than not have to use their IT manager skills to juggle a number of different responsibilities including being mothers. This is not an easy thing to do and there is no IT manager training that will show us how to do it. However, some women IT managers are able to pull it off. How do they do it?

The Challenge Of Being A IT Manager Who IS Also A Mother

I think that we can all agree that being an IT manager is a challenging and difficult job under the best of circumstances. However, it you go ahead and throw in the additional responsibilities of being a mother then all of a sudden things just get a lot harder to do. There are a lot of IT managers who find themselves in this unique situation.

Being a mother brings with it a large number of additional responsibilities. None of these responsibilities are impossible to do, it’s just that they all require your time in order to do them correctly. These things include taking children to sports practice, attending meeting with teachers at the school, taking family members to the doctor, helping with homework, finding time for the family to spend time together, oh and also maintaining a relationship with your spouse. How hard could all of this be?

It always seems to come back to being a question of time. The job of an IT manager can easily overflow the standard 40 hour workweek. We have all seen weeks where we’ve ended up working 60 or more hours. Its when things like this start to happen, or start to happen back-to-back, that all of a sudden and IT manager who is also a mother can start to run into some real problems.

How Successful Female IT Managers Pull It Off

The good news is that a number of IT managers who are also mothers are able to pull all of this off. Now the big question is how are they accomplishing this? The first thing that we need to understand is that the “60 hour work week” is really pretty much a myth. Yes, they do happen – but infrequently. The average is about 44 hours of work per week.

The next thing to realize is that as IT managers, mothers often have a great deal of both flexibility and autonomy in their jobs. What this means is that they can control when they work. Many of these mother IT managers choose to work what is called a “split-shift” where they’ll work for a while at work, come home and take care of the kids, and then once the kids are in bed, they will do some more work.

Finally, working as an IT manager generally provides a working mom with a fair amount of disposable income. This income can then be spent on getting her help with common tasks. This can include getting dry cleaning picked up and delivered, having the house cleaned, and even having someone cook the family meals. All of these contribute to freeing up the IT manager mother’s time to do more things that she really wants to do.

What All Of This Means For You

Being an IT manager is a demanding job. Being a woman who is an IT manager and a mother is even more demanding when you consider all of the different roles that they potentially have to juggle at the same time including IT team building. However, some women are able to pull this juggling act off. We need to understand how they do it.

When a woman becomes an IT manager she may have a number of different roles that she is going to have to manage at the same time: IT manager, wife, mother, personal hobbies, etc. On top of this, being an IT manager can require a great deal of her time: often 60 or more hours per week. The good news is that long hours are often more imaginary then real. Women often balance their required time by splitting their time between time at work and time spent after the children have been put to bed. Finally, because an IT manager job pays well many tasks can be farmed out to helpers.

IT needs more women. IT needs more women IT managers. What this means is that all of the challenges of juggling multiple responsibilities is something that every women IT manager needs to be able to do. The good news is that it turns out that it can be easy to get the different roles to balance out. Follow these steps and it can be possible for a woman IT manager to succeed in everything that she does both on and off the job!

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™

Question For You: If you are a female IT manager, what is the most challenging part of the job?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental IT Leader Blog is updated.

P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental IT Leader Newsletter are now available. Learn what you need to know to do the job. Subscribe now: Click Here!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

So what kind of IT manager are you? Would you say that you have a lot of gravitas (i.e. you are cold and aloof)? Or are you warm and huggy type? I’d be willing to bet that most of us see ourselves falling somewhere in the middle of these two types of personalities. However, there’s a trend that is going on that just might cause us some problems in keeping our stiff upper lip up at work – emoticons.