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The Working Mother Experience is a 250 page glossy coffee table book that contains nearly 100 essays written by EMC women (and one man) from around the world. The essayists share their candid perspectives on being working mothers in our fast-paced business environment.

Working Mother Experience Book (in PDF)

Wednesday
Aug262009

EMC Children's Day

Every once and awhile you stumble into the chance to be part of something special. I recently had that experience. This blog is about the intersection of being a wife, mother, and employee. No single event has crossed all of those lines simultaneously before and the result was very cool.

EMC Children’s Day was EMC’s take on “bring your child to work day”. RSA and other divisions of EMC have had similar programs and Daisy Alba, Sr. Manager; Global Cash was determined to have it happen here at our corporate facility at 176 South Street. As a mother of two gorgeous kids herself, she understood the importance of having our kids’ see what their parents do and where they spend their workdays.

Daisy secured executive support for the idea and starting a steering committee. She asked me to be her co-chair and the project was underway.

Celebrating Employee Families as the theme, the volunteer team put together an aggressive program of activities to ensure that parents who brought their kids to work for the day would not be disappointed. Another requirement for the team was to put a smile on everyone’s face who worked in the building (whether they have children or not). It was no accident that the courtyard was selected in hopes of bringing smiles to anyone who saw the event from inside the building.[gallery link="file"]

One HR meeting was completely disrupted in a conference room that overlooks the courtyard due to the 42 foot inflatable whale on loan from the New England Aquarium was being inflated as part of the program. One member of the meeting took a cell phone snap of the activities and emailed it to all the remote participants on the phone. Anecdotes like that one are what make the volunteer team members beam with pride.

As the day had come to a close, I was heading back to my office and half a hallway ahead of me I saw a family headed down the corridor, two children with balloons skipping down the hallway. As if that was not enough to make you smile…All of the people coming down the hallway in the opposite direction were SMILING. One of them said to me, “hasn’t this just been the greatest day?” Another said. “This place came alive today.” With that I went back to my desk to finish up my work. I was tired, but proud and of course, smiling, too.

Special thanks to the all of the Children’s Day sponsors, volunteers, facilities personnel and security teams that made the day possible! P.S. Thank you to Mother Nature for such a great day.

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Monday
Jul272009

Who wants to add their 2cents?

Ever since the Working Mother Experience launched in April many of the women from EMC who did not choose to participate in the book want to somehow be a part of the ongoing discussion. I have interviewed a few women at EMC and will start posting their stories to keep the spirit of the Working Mother Experience alive, but for all of this site's readers that would like to participate the stories need not be EMC stories. We have EMC customer and partners lining up, but if there is someone who would like to add their 2cents an EMC Badge is not required. Just shoot us an email (link to the right). Looking forward to it!

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Monday
Jun082009

Meet EMC Working Mother -- Raquel Abizanda

Marketing Manager, Spain I am very satisfied with my personal life and professional life. I believe I am one of the few executives of a large multinational corporation with four children and, moreover, that I am valued in my work and that I don’t have to make sacrifices in my professional life to be a mother also. The other day I read a very interesting article in a Spanish newspaper that said, “Companies don’t discriminate against women; they do it against mothers.” This is definitely not my case. On the other hand, I won’t paint a picture of Utopia. My level of stress, on occasion, is extremely high. In fact, between my personal life and professional life I have a twenty-four-hour-a-day job. I don’t deny that it’s a challenge.”

Why she wanted her story to become part of the book:

This was a great project!! I enjoyed sharing this experience with other colleagues around the world. It demonstrates that even with different countries, different cultures, different ages, and different roles there is one common objective – to show that despite the difficulties it’s possible to manage and enjoy both your business and personal worlds.

Our main Marketing campaign is about “Thriving in the hardest environments”. That’s exactly what we working mothers do…successfully!! It’s just about EMC efficiency.

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Tuesday
May262009

EMC World 2009: The WLF hosts panel discussion on The Working Mother Experience book

By Kelly Lavin and Natalie Corridan-Gregg May 22, 2009 On Wednesday morning, 48 employees, customers, and partners gathered for a networking breakfast and panel discussion hosted by the EMC Women’s Leadership Forum on issues raised by The Working Mother Experience book. The book, published by EMC, contains real stories written by 96 EMC women (and one man) from around the world that provide candid perspectives on being working mothers in a fast-paced business environment. EMC SVP ML Krakauer thanked the crowd for gathering at such an early hour to attend the event. She acknowledged EVP Frank Hauck and the WLF for putting the event together and stressed the importance of projects like The Working Mother Experience to the vitality of companies. Attendees from many different companies, men and women alike, mixed effortlessly during the breakfast portion. They introduced themselves and immediately exchanged stories about their experiences as working parents. EMC’s Marisol Arroyave presented a brief background on how The Working Mother Experience book came to be, how the project was launched, and the importance of the book to EMC’s culture.wlf_audience Several dads joined in the discussion about work-life balance. Attendees viewed a video montage of the book launch event in Hopkinton on April 3, and then the panelists took the stage. EMC employees Wendy Bertino, EMC Commercial Pre-Sales; Jean Weintraub, NY/NJ Sr. Practice Manager; Kathie Lyons, VP, Global Services; and Cathy Herbert, Director Partner Systems Engineering Organization, participated as panelists. Principal Product Manager and WLF advisor Natalie Corridan-Gregg served as moderator. Each of the women related personal stories and exchanged advice. Popular topics of discussion were work-life balance, the help and hindrance of technology on family life, and the importance of having a good support system, both at work and at home. Panelists and attendees spoke about shared feelings of self doubt, guilt, pride, and joy in their experiences as working parents. One panelist’s EMC team (mostly men) came to support her participation as a panelist. They talked about how proud they were of her accomplishments and “effortless” juggling of career and family. The conversation in the room might have started with the WME book, but it was quickly a discussion of the balance of parenting (not specific to women) and career. About halfway through the event, it was clear that there was little difference in gender when it came to the struggles of working parents. The men were so engaged that the moderator had a difficult time winding down the conversation so the attendees could move on to the next scheduled EMC World 2009 event. Key thoughts from the panel discussion included: “The hardest part about being a working mom is probably getting over the preconceived notion that all women stay home after having children. I’ve always been a working mom and have had a positive experience. There are four people in the room here now that came to support me, and to me that’s very important.” —Jean Weintraub “I have a great support system at EMC, as well as family close by that I can rely on. I feel very lucky to have such great support in my choice to be a working mother.” —Kathie Lyons “If it is important to you, you can make it work.” —Cathy Herbert “My family knows at the end of the quarter things may be tough for a little while. I will have to take phone calls during dinner and answer e-mails during soccer games. Technology is a double-edged sword that can be overwhelming, yet helps us balance our work and family lives.” —Wendy Bertino “The women at EMC won’t accept second best, but setting achievable goals and understanding you can do a good job is important.” —Natalie Corridan-Gregg Many had to miss the event due to other commitments and classes that were running concurrently. The support that was shown throughout the day and requests for more of these types of sessions was a message received loud and clear. Kate from customer Johns Hopkins said it best. “By having this event at EMC World, EMC is acknowledging the role of women in technology. They are putting their money where their mouth is around valuing employees and greater diversity. EMC is a company that gets it, and I want to do more business with that kind of a company.”wlf_panel21 Moderator Natalie Corridan-Gregg (far left) with panelists (l. to r.) Wendy Bertino, Jean Weintraub, Kathie Lyons, and Cathy Herbert. wlf_panel Some of the Women's Leadership Forum event participants and panelists with EVP Frank Hauck.

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Tuesday
May052009

Meet EMC Working Mother -- SunHwa “Grace” Kang

SunHwa “Grace” Kang

Localization Quality Manager, South Korea

Mother of two: one youth; one teenager

Excerpt from Grace's essay (p. 176)
"… The other major factor that makes working from home possible is modern technology, with our wonderful VPN system a good example. While it is not easy to carry my heavy notebook computer in the jam-packed Seoul Metro, it works wonders when I work at home. Like magic, I can access all the designated e-rooms, Powerlink, Channel EMC and network drives around the world. I think technology is a friend to working mothers around the world.” Why she wanted to contribute her story to the book: I love working at EMC and wanted to pay a small token of appreciation to my great managers who trust me enough to allow working from home sometimes. And I also hoped my essay will show how these state-of-art EMC technologies can help to balance my work and personal life. It is a very exciting to witness that modern technologies really can transform the way of human living and working very drastically.

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