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Talent Sourcing Trends

The Epic Apology To Working Moms That Became Fortune’s 2015 Most Popular Article

Over the past year PowerToFly has advocated for changing the way women work. And with two working mom, co-founders, it’s no secret that we also have a soft spot for women who juggle careers and kids. This is part of our make-up. It’s actually something that our co-founder and president, Katharine Zaleski, wrote pretty candidly about in Fortune earlier this year, in what turned out to be their most popular article of 2015.


Fortune Editor Alan Murray recently shared the news in a tweet:

This was most popular story of 2015: Startup co-founder ‘I am sorry to mothers I used to work with’ @FortuneMagazinehttps://t.co/gmBn2VoAs1

— Alan Murray (@alansmurray) December 30, 2015

Katharine’s commentary opens honestly, with her admitting to being embarrassed as she recalls her first meeting with Cathy Sharick, Time.com’s then managing editor.

“Once I took a seat and surveyed the endless photos of her small children spread across the airy space, I decided this editor was too much of a mother to follow up on the idea. I still went through with my proposal, but I walked out sure I would never talk to her again. She wasn’t the first and only mother whose work ethic I silently slandered.”

Katharine cited multiple examples of how she contributed to a toxic work environment for the working moms that she encountered.

“I didn’t disagree when another female editor said we should hurry up and fire another woman before she ‘got pregnant,’” she wrote. “For mothers in the workplace, it’s death by a thousand cuts — and sometimes it’s other women holding the knives. I didn’t realize this — or how horrible I’d been — until five years later, when I gave birth to a daughter of my own. “

Thankfully, in a twist of fate, Katharine did speak to Cathy again. In fact, she’s now the Executive Editor at PowerToFly.

“…I’m sorry to all the mothers I used to work with… [Cathy] has taught me a lot about how to be more productive than I was before motherhood. I’m now looking for more Cathys to join PowerToFly because I know they can manage households, multiple schedules and very high business goals.”

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