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A Women's History Month Reflection at HARMAN | Working Mom vs. Just Dad

As Women's History Month unfolds, we reflect on the progress in gender equality. Janice, VP of Global Rewards & Mobility at HARMAN, inspires with her leadership, parenthood, and gender equity story.
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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Joining HARMAN: A Chance Encounter 

Janice's entry into HARMAN was unexpected. During a networking event, she met glowing testimonials about HARMAN, its culture, and its people. Fast forward nearly 8 years, as VP of Global Rewards and Mobility, Janice spearheads initiatives to enhance employee well-being and engagement. So, it's no surprise that HARMAN's core values of teamwork, respect, and inclusion resonate deeply with her. HARMAN is an environment where embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) is a continuous learning process. Making sure people feel valued and empowered no matter who they are is a top priority, so educating ourselves is also part of our DNA. 

Navigating Parenthood: The Importance of Parental Leave 

A notable aspect of HARMAN's commitment to gender equality is our global parental leave policies, as the legislation regarding this varies significantly worldwide. In a global company like HARMAN, where operations span diverse regions, navigating these differences requires a nuanced approach. For instance, European countries typically offer more extensive maternity leave than the United States. Janice took full advantage of, HARMAN's three-month paid parental leave in the U.S. ​

Janice, who herself used this time off, is shedding light on the need for greater parity and advocates for comprehensive parental leave policies to support working parents. "Postpartum is the most magical experience but also has some of the toughest moments. ​Having the time to fully focus on my well-being as I healed physically, mentally, and emotionally, my baby's well-being, and my family as we transitioned to a family of five was incredibly valuable," Janice openly said. 

Challenging Stigmas: Working Moms vs. Working Parents 

Janice addresses the misconceptions surrounding working mothers, emphasizing the importance of debunking stereotypes. “We have gone a long way in changing the stigma around moms who are part of the workforce, but I think we still have some work to do,” she shared.  

One key change Janice prioritizes is refra​ming the narrative to include all parents, regardless of gender, and acknowledging the need for societal shifts in terminology and perceptions are aspects we all need to keep in mind and work on. 

Quotes 2 (1).pngBalancing Responsibilities: Women Don't Have to Choose 

While society continues to evolve, persistent questions such as "Who will take care of your child while you're on a business trip?" underscore the enduring stereotypes that working mothers still face. In that landscape, Janice's story proves the transformative power of support systems at home and in the workplace. Backed by a network of empowering women at HARMAN and her husband standing as her steadfast partner, Janice navigates the complexities of modern parenthood daily and successfully enjoys her career path. "One of the biggest misconceptions surrounding working moms is that we as mothers have to choose where to be great – either at work or at home. The reality is moms could be successful both at home and in the workplace", Janice emphasized.

As we foster an inclusive culture with comprehensive parental leave policies, we also strive for a future where women no longer feel constrained by outdated notions of sacrifice and choice.   

And in her role overseeing areas like compensation, recognition, well-being and mobility, Janice sees the benefits paid parental leave offers a company, too.  In her experience, “it yields higher retention and engagement rates for the organization, while also providing a host of benefits for new parents, baby and family.”  

HARMAN Supporting Working Parents: Your Family Comes First 

HARMAN's supportive environment, characterized by flexible policies and comprehensive benefits, underscores its commitment to empowering working parents where offering parental leave is integral to promoting employee well-being and productivity. Janice advises all working parents to prioritize their well-being and utilize parental leave benefits. "I took full advantage of our parental leave [policy] as a mom, as a leader and as an employee. I hope that this encourages our employees, both moms and dads, to do the same,” she said. ​

2.pngLet us take Janice's story as a reminder that progress toward gender equality is possible when we prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion in our workplaces. By advocating for comprehensive parental leave policies and a supportive working environment, we can empower working parents to thrive both at work and in their personal lives. As we continue celebrating Women's History Month, let’s work together to create a future where gender equality is the norm, not the exception. 

Would you like to be a part of our team, where prioritizing work-life balance is a core value? Check out our work opportunities for your next career! If you are not actively looking, join our talent community to keep in touch!   ​​​​