Validation for Work at Home
Earlier this year, LinkedIn announced they were adding “Stay at Home Mom” and other caretaker titles to the list of available job titles for individuals to add to their online, public resume. The announcement came in response to negative backlash, after 2.4 million American women left the workforce from March 2020 to March 2021 and publicly beseeched the company to provide better options to reflect the career choices they were making to support their families during an unprecedented year.
While this might seem like it is a small change, let me tell you this is a BIG DEAL in terms of raising awareness to the significant impact taking time off can have on women and their careers, as well as the economic impact their unpaid labor has on our economy.
When I left the workforce in 2010 to focus on raising our family full time, I actually got around their lack of options by creating a company called “Rudloff Home” and giving myself the title of Executive Vice President of Home Operations. I put it on my LinkedIn resume and have added responsibilities and accomplishments as we added “associates.” Heck, I even blogged about it for a while.
I have long counseled friends to list their home responsibilities on their work history, as running a home will absolutely help you grow as a manager, communicator and doer of ALL things. And if you are worried about a future employer holding that time “off” against you, then trust me, sister, it is they who need to change, not your resume.
A smart employer will recognize that women now comprise the majority in 40 of 50 U.S. states, and just before the pandemic had actually surpassed men in terms of U.S. non-farm labor force participation. Women have been out-graduating men since the 1960s and since 2016, there are more women than men in America with higher-education degrees.
Working at weVENTURE Women’s Business Center for the last year, I have also seen an uptick in women who are dipping their toes into entrepreneurship, as they look for creative ways to use their skills while finding flexibility they need.
Fun Fact: of the 13.1 million women-owned businesses in America at the end of 2019, only 1 million actually had employees. The vast majority are solo-preneurs — women monetizing their skill and time, often doing so with a child on their hip.
LinkedIn’s policy change is just the latest example that society is waking up to the changing needs of American women and the realities of families in America. So go on and update that LinkedIn profile today — whether you are a “boss mom” “mompreneur” “SAHM” or “EVPHO” tell the world loud and proud about the time you invested as a caretaker.