NAIOPWA Celebrates Mother's Day with Interviews from Professional and Working Moms

In honor of Mother’s Day, we want to show our appreciation for the many working moms within our NAIOP chapter and for all the professional women that make our organization great. With 40% female representation on our board and steadily increasing female membership over the last decade, empowering the voices of women in commercial real estate committee rooms, leadership positions, and on event stages remains a top priority of NAIOPWA.

We spoke with a few NAIOP members who are also mothers to ask them about their experiences, including NAIOPWA President Tina Pappas (Tarragon Property Services), and about their dual roles as working professionals and mothers. Some responses have been edited for conciseness.  
NAIOPWA: What is your favorite part about pulling double duty during COVID-19?
Pappas: I am considered essential for both my home and company! Not only does our home provide the workspace for my office, it provides the workspace for our Bellevue High sophomore son, UW freshman daughter, and my husband’s office.  My favorite part of the day is when my son and daughter wake up, they slowly open my door to see if I am available for a morning hug.  I take in those moments, breathe them in… I know I will never have this time period where all of us are together from morning until night.

Another NAIOP member, Membership Committee Co-Chair Carrie Gartside-Anthony (First American Title Insurance), relayed a similar message to the same question.

Gartside-Anthony: I get to spend more time with my daughter.  She will not be little forever, and I cherish the time I get to spend with her. I feel so blessed that I get to do both.  

This refrain is common for many working mothers who now have unexpected time with their children while working from home. With the public health crisis, the closure of many office spaces has provided the unique opportunity for college-aged children to return home to spend time with family or for younger children to stay home due to school closures. Though not all working mothers are able to work from home, the limitation of public gatherings has nonetheless increased face-time for parents and children, regardless of workplace situation.

Mothers are wellsprings of wisdom and advice, and so many of us rely on the knowledge our mothers imparted to us to make decisions, big and small. We also spoke with NAIOP Corporate Board Member Kristy Alley (Santec Consulting, Ltd.) who has been a NAIOPWA member since 2008 at the start of the Great Recession, and who gave us a bit of wisdom that she shares with her own kids.
NAIOPWA: What is the best piece(s) of advice you give your children?
Alley: Look up at the stars. Don’t ever stop learning. Always maintain your integrity. Never shake a person’s hand sitting down. Play with passion or don’t play at all.
Being a working mother has never been easy, even as gender norms around women in the workplace have evolved to make space for female leaders and staff. Though progress is being made on a daily basis, there are many misconceptions on being a working mother, including that the two roles are incompatible with one another. We asked Pappas her thoughts on this as well.
NAIOPWA: What is one misconception about being a working mom that you may like to address?
Pappas: If a mom is taking a work call while she has her kids, it is generally viewed that she is not really serious about her job. In the same vein, if a man takes a work call with kids, it is seen as positive, and that he is such a great dad to have his kids while working.  All of the working moms that I know (and I know a lot of them) are incredible multi-taskers and do a superior job at the balancing act between home and office.

Gartside-Anthony wholeheartedly agreed. Moms are great multi-taskers.

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to impact the lives of countless working parents, the new normal of working from home with children around (and sometimes requiring the attention of a care provider who may be simultaneously juggling work responsibilities) may forever shape the way we see parenthood, regardless of gender, in the workplace.
This Mother’s Day, please join us in thanking the hard working moms for the sacrifices they make to allow their children to grow, learn, and thrive. Give a mom that you know or work with a shout out on LinkedIn and help us share the appreciation for moms everywhere!

Thank a Mom on LinkedIn
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