WERK MAMA & The Third Shift

Julia Elman Swati Vauthrin

Room 702 • November 05 • 1:30 - 2:30 pm

This session will feature two 20-minute talks and a Q & A session.

WERK MAMA: A tale from one working mama in the tech industry

Julia Elman

Being a working mom is… challenging. From playdates to stand up meetings, our days are jam packed with activities and commitments. This talk will cover the struggles working mama’s face specifically in the tech industry. I’ll be addressing the challenges and outlining tips for the audience to use on their own journey and how to werk it.

The Third Shift

Swati Vauthrin

I’ve always wanted to be a mom. There was never a question about that, we just had to figure out timing. I have also spent the past almost 15yrs of my career working my butt off to get to where I am today. When I found out I was going to be a mommy, I needed to start thinking about how I was going to do it all. After my daughter was born, I spent 3 blissful months on maternity leave, and then I headed back to work. The question in my head was, how I was going to make this all work. Well, I figured it out with the 3rd shift.

The 3rd shift is defined as the additional hours people (and many parents) put in after they get home, eat dinner, and in my case, the kids are asleep. It’s this time that lets me catch up on my slack channels, respond to emails, finish off some code, and look at PRs (pull requests). It’s also time that I feel I need to put in, in order to to just keep up with the rest of the team. If I didn’t put in this time, I’d be falling behind.

In this digital age, the 3rd shift is almost necessary and in ways, it allows may people including myself to shift our schedules a bit to allow for more flexibility in the days when I need it. I can come in a little later, go home a little earlier, and still check things off my TODO for the day. It also comes at a cost. Because of our digital age, we are “always on”, always able to “jump online” and just get some work done if we need to. We are always connected.

Will the 3rd shift become the norm? Will everyone sign up for it? Or are we entering a period of time where work and life are so intermingled that you can’t really tell the difference anymore. In my opinion, HR teams should be looking at the 3rd shift and seeing how they can provide support to those who utilize it and if there are any changes with benefits that need to be made to accommodate it.

This talk is intended for many folks in Technology just like me, that need flexibility in their work/life schedules, that want to have it all, and feel like we can make it happen. If you’re thinking about becoming a working parent (mom!) then this is something for you!