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Moms In Today's Workforce

December 15, 2022
Asian mother and child Sitting and working at home at night

If you are returning to the workforce after time away to care for your family or are changing fields, an MBA can help you successfully relaunch your career. Not only can an advanced business degree dramatically improve the trajectory of your work life, but it can benefit your family in some ways you may not have considered.

The State of the Workforce for Women and Mothers

You may be one of the millions of working moms who left the workforce during the pandemic.

Mom workforce statistics show that approximately 3.5 million women with school-age children lost their jobs, quit, or took a leave of absence in the spring of 2020. As of July 2022, over half a million women still had yet to return to the labor force.2

Changing Careers

Perhaps you’re working outside the home (again) but are unhappy with your job situation. Women have historically been overrepresented in low-wage, part-time jobs and industries disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, including nursing care, childcare, leisure and hospitality, and food service. Many of those jobs are now unfilled because of low pay and poor working conditions, which have caused women to look for different career options.2

Re-entering the Workforce After a Life Change

You may have suddenly found yourself the single head of a household and are searching for a way to support your family better. Over a 35-year career, the average MBA graduate can earn $3 million more than a worker with a bachelor’s degree. That extra money can create a better life for you and your children.3

Moms Going Back to Work

Whether you want to return to your previous field, change careers, or even start your own business, an MBA can help you make a powerful return to the workplace. The degree will help you update your skills and build out your resume, and that’s not all.

Overcoming the Challenges of Returning to Work

There might be a voice in your head saying you aren’t ready to return to work and can’t manage going back to school on top of everything else you do. That’s the first challenge you must overcome, and the following information may help you do so. Give that inner critic a pat on the head and a timeout while you learn more about how you can manage an MBA and why you should.

Model Success for Your Kids

Aside from the financial upside, how can your MBA degree help your children? They will soak up your attitudes toward education and achievement, which can make all the difference in their lives. Seeing you come up with creative solutions to scheduling issues and overcoming obstacles to stay on course will teach them resilience. Watching you study or, even better, studying alongside you can develop their lifelong thirst for knowledge. Additional household chores they may take on can teach them responsibility and independence.

Do It for Yourself

Additional stressors for moms, including extra family responsibilities and financial worries, caused women to report increased mental health challenges more than twice as often as men during the pandemic.4

Taking charge of your future by getting a degree can help overcome pandemic-induced depression and anxiety. The time commitment for an MBA is finite, and there’s a clear reward at the end. You can complete the Online MBA from Seattle University Albers School of Business and Economics in as little as 2.5 years, with a part-time workload of about 90 minutes a day.

Update Your Skills and Expand Your Network

The Seattle Albers Online MBA, with its integrated leadership challenges, helps you master in-demand soft skills and cross-functional business knowledge with immediate practical application. Build connections with our tech-forward alumni community to propel your successful return to work.

Getting together with classmates on zoom or in person has meant a lot to Yvonne Griffin, a student in the 2022 MBA cohort. “Especially on Sunday evening,” she said, “where everyone would come to the zoom computer with a glass of wine and discuss how things were going. It was really a blessing for me to get through COVID, just to have that connection.”

Yvonne also has high praise for the networking opportunities outside of class. “The mentor program at Seattle U is excellent. I've met with my mentor several times and my group in person and online. So there are definitely opportunities for team building and for bonding.”

OK, But How? Tips for Creating Your Grad School Success

Yes, getting an advanced degree like an MBA is challenging, but many working moms have done it and are glad they did. Here’s a short list of tips and tricks from others who have successfully navigated graduate school.

1. Be Sure the Degree Supports Your Goals

An MBA isn’t necessarily for everyone, but if you want to take a leadership role in business or pursue an entrepreneurial path, it may be just the thing you need. To help you clarify what you want, think about your interests, strengths, and goals. This introspection will not only help your choose your path, but you can also leverage it in your admissions materials and later job search.

2. Get Your Family on Board

Once you’ve clarified your goals, share them with your family to get their support. Then explore together how to adapt family routines and responsibilities.

3. Plan for Contingencies

Preplan how you will handle school breaks and other events that may pull you away from your coursework. Line up members of your extended family and friends to cover for you as needed.

4. Choose a School That Aligns with Your Goals, Needs and Values

Just because you want to further your career, that doesn’t mean you’re willing to ignore your family. You can do coursework on your schedule and around your family commitments in the flexible, AACSB-accredited Online MBA from Seattle University. Talk with an advisor to learn more about how our collaborative, innovative curriculum design and influential alumni network will help you become an effective, ethical business leader ready for whatever the future brings.