Bio: Mel is a career coach. She uses UX Research to provide tech professionals with actionable career insights.

Are you a mother in tech balancing work and caregiving duties? Or are you considering becoming one? Perhaps you have a team member who is a mother, and you want to understand her circumstances better to collaborate more effectively? This piece is for you.

Women in tech are still a minority. There aren’t many global studies on this topic, but regional data shows an undeniable gap in the gender spectrum when it comes to working in tech. 

Mothers in tech are an even less studied group within this minority. Only a few articles cover their stories, candidly discussing the challenges they face. Some journalistic pieces portray the tech world as hostile to the needs of mothers.

Not despite but because of these challenges, there’s a greater opportunity to celebrate each other’s successes. This doesn’t mean ignoring the difficulties mothers in tech face. Instead, it highlights the inspiring examples of amazing mothers in tech who motivate us every day.

I interviewed incredible mothers in tech from my personal and professional circles. These women work in content, engineering, design, product, and research, and they all hold leadership positions. 

In these interviews, they share their challenges and the advantages of working with mothers in tech.

Anna Zsófia Csontos – Senior UX Researcher at UXstudio

Anna-Zsófia, a Budapest-based UX researcher and Health Psychologist, balances family life, working in tech, and being a trainer in stress management and well-being. She has a three-year-old daughter who loves parkour, singing, and songwriting, making life lively and exciting at home.

Major Challenges:

“Balancing childcare responsibilities while wanting to spend quality time with my family requires me to set better boundaries at work – which is no easy feat. You have to plan and schedule everything meticulously, time-box tasks, and still prepare for everything falling apart but still perform as a professional and as a mother. Time management is still my number one challenge, but I feel more focused and efficient than before becoming a parent. 

Being a mom comes with intense joy but also a heightened mental load at all times. For me, being a working mom means constantly prioritizing my time and my focus – and then doubting myself whether I did it well. My number one priority is health, especially with a little one. That means I have to navigate unexpected illnesses, rely on a support system, and balance missing work with seeking help when needed.”

Advantages of Working with Mothers:

“Mothers value their time highly. In my experience, they set up fewer unnecessary meetings. Great organization, hyper-focus, and quick decision-making are common among mothers, helping eliminate redundancies and use work time effectively. Additionally, mothers bring empathy and high consideration for others’ contexts and mental states at work.”

Anna Zsofia with her daughter

Didi Payson – Staff Software Developer Engineer in Test at Life360

Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Didi works at Life360, Inc. as a Staff Software Developer Engineer in Test. She began her tech career in the early 1990s and has balanced professional life with raising three children, now 29, 22, and 14 years old.

Major Challenges:

“Working in the male-dominated field of software engineering presents unique challenges. In the past, women were often overlooked for challenging projects or roles. This was more prevalent years ago, but many companies now have processes to mitigate these biases.

Balancing long hours and availability, especially during production releases or issues, is challenging as a working mother. This job wouldn’t be possible without family support. It was particularly difficult when my children were newborns. Thankfully, companies have improved in providing resources for nursing mothers, and working from home has become a viable option, allowing better balance between family and work.”

Advantages of Working with Mothers:

“Mothers bring dedication and care to their work. Our children inspire us to strive for excellence in our careers. By nature, mothers are organized multitaskers, bringing these skills to tech roles. We contribute balance to the work environment with the nurturing and inspirational qualities unique to motherhood.”

Didi with her family

Joana Baptista – Director of Product at OLX Group

Joana, a Portuguese Product Director and entrepreneur, balances her career in tech with motherhood. Graduating in biomedical engineering, she has been working in tech since 2015 and built her own company at 27. With experience from companies like Farfetch, Glovo, and OLX, Joana navigates her career while being a dedicated mother to her 4-year-old and 2-year-old daughters.

Major Challenges:

“As a mother of two young daughters, one of the major challenges is balancing the demanding responsibilities of a product leader with the needs of my children. Product leadership often requires long hours, quick decision-making, and continuous availability, which can sometimes conflict with family time and caregiving duties. For this reason effective time management becomes crucial. Coordinating meetings, project deadlines, and team support while ensuring quality family time can be quite challenging. I often have to meticulously plan my schedule to accommodate both work and family responsibilities.

I would say that maintaining emotional energy and focus can also be challenging. After a night of attending to a sick child or managing tantrums, bringing the same level of enthusiasm and creativity to work can be tough. However, it’s important to compartmentalize and prioritize effectively. This is one of the reasons that led me to relocate back to Portugal and be closer to my family because me and my partner had to ensure a robust support system was in place. This includes reliable childcare, family network close by and a supportive work environment that acknowledges the dual roles many parents have.”

Advantages of Working with Mothers:

  • Exceptional Time Management:

Mothers are often excellent at multitasking and managing their time efficiently. This skill translates well into the tech industry, where balancing multiple projects and deadlines is essential. For instance, I’ve managed to streamline project workflows and improve team efficiency by implementing time-management strategies honed from parenting.

  • Empathy and Communication:

Being a mother has enhanced my empathy and communication skills. These qualities are invaluable in product leadership, where understanding user needs and team dynamics is crucial. I’ve found that my ability to listen and empathize has fostered a more collaborative and supportive team environment.

  • Resilience and Adaptability:

Parenting, especially during the early years, teaches resilience and adaptability. These traits are incredibly beneficial in the tech industry, where changes and challenges are constant. For example, during a critical product launch, my ability to stay calm under pressure and adapt to unforeseen issues helps ensure a successful rollout.

  • Perspective and Prioritisation:

Mothers often have a unique perspective and the ability to prioritize effectively. This perspective can lead to more user-friendly products and a balanced approach to problem-solving. My experience as a mother has allowed me to better understand and anticipate the needs of diverse user groups, contributing to more inclusive product designs.

  • Community and Support:

Mothers tend to build strong communities and support networks. This sense of community can translate into a more cohesive and supportive team culture. I’ve initiated several team-building activities and support systems within my team that have strengthened our collaboration and morale.

Finally I also would like to send a big shoutout to all the supportive partners outhere who, like mine, support their partners to be better professionals and mothers at the same time. Your unwavering support, understanding and shared responsibilities make it possible for us to thrive in our careers while being the best mothers we can be.

Joana with her daughters

Stefania Russo – Head of UX Content at Glovo

Stefania is the Head of UX Content at Glovo, where she leads both Localization and UX Writing. She has a 6 year old daughter who loves to draw and dance and who gets easily bored lately.

Major Challenges:

“Maintaining work-life balance is the major challenge. The school schedule doesn’t align with the office schedule, so I have to get creative with after-school activities and race against the clock every day. I couldn’t do it without a partner who shares home responsibilities equally.”

Advantages of Working with Mothers:

“Being a mother forces me to be present with my daughter, giving me a healthy break from work. Motherhood has improved my time management, making me better at setting and sticking to focus times and less tolerant of time-wasting activities. It gives me perspective on what truly matters versus what is less important.”

Stefania and her daughter

Thais Souza – Head of Design at Sololearn

Thais Souza, a Spain-based Head of Design, balances her career in tech with her role as a dedicated mother in an LGBTQ+ family. Born in Brazil, Thais spent seven years in Munich and now enjoys life in Sitges, Spain, with her wife and their two-year-old son, who loves animals and dinosaurs.

Major Challenges:

“Balancing professional responsibilities with spending quality time with my child is challenging. After a full day of work, I strive to engage and play with my son, which can be exhausting. Sometimes I feel like I’m not giving my best at work either, as I often can’t stay late or attend social events with colleagues. Navigating these dual responsibilities is challenging, but it’s a constant process of finding the right balance.”

Advantages of Working with Mothers:

“Mothers bring dedication and efficiency to the team. Our limited time makes every moment count, translating into a focused and high-quality work ethic. Parenthood provides unique perspectives and problem-solving skills, equipping us with patience, calm, and strategic thinking invaluable in the workplace. We foster a positive and productive work environment, helping team members see the bigger picture and maintain a balanced approach to challenges.”

Thais with her wife and son.

To wrap up:

Anna Zsófia, Didi, Joana, Stefania, and Thais inspire me everyday. I celebrate these stories, and I hope you do, too. 

Let’s support each other, recognizing the unique strengths mothers bring to the tech industry, and work towards a more inclusive and innovative future.

About the author: Mel is a career coach. She uses UX Research to provide tech professionals with actionable career insights.