FOR our special Mother's Day edition of All Woman this year, we invited a few companies in corporate Jamaica to celebrate the extraordinary women in their companies who not only had to take on the additional role of homeschool teacher this year, but also brought their jobs home, and adapted their businesses in many ways as they underwent the necessary changes to beat the pandemic.
Here are the women who have stood out for being a MOMs – masters of multitasking – especially in this very trying year.
They have risen to the challenge tremendously in both their professional and maternal capacities this year.
Patrice Bingham-ReidSenior Financial Services Specialist with VMBSChild: One daughter, Jessyca Reid
Assessing members'/clients' financial positions, then guiding them along a strategic pathway to achieving specific goals such as home ownership, a vehicle, or financial freedom, by helping them make appropriate financial decisions and providing them with meaningful financial solutions is what Bingham-Reid does on a daily basis.
She said prior to the pandemic, she enjoyed the benefit of a clear and efficient routine in raising her daughter, with the strong support of her grandparents and husband.
“Together we would share the school pick-ups, homework duties and responsibilities for her overall well-being. With this support, my professional aspirations were more easily managed. Now, this routine has changed significantly, and she must travel a longer distance to be homeschooled by my mother-in-law,” she said in explaining how she has had to change the way she carries out the roles as a mother and a professional this year.
“I ensured that my daughter had all her educational and technological needs and provided a classroom set-up for her virtual learning, but she still had trouble adjusting to not having her friends and her teachers' presence. Personally, my own work hours were altered, and I would end up covering a lot at nights after the rest of the family were asleep just to ensure that there was no neglect on either side.”
“Despite these challenges, it allowed me to utilise my professional creativity to ensure that the mantra of changing lives was still maintained. Technological support became the order of the day as physical assessment sessions now became Skype meetings and appointments became scheduled pick up and drop offs. Despite it all though, as my father always said, 'One can either sink or swim with challenges, but always remember how to float above them, as the sea always gets calm after a while'. This has been my driving force throughout life, as well as having a magnificent husband, Kemar Reid, who is my personal booster when times get difficult.”
What is her motivation for giving her best both at home and at work?
“I was always taught that failure is not an option. Aspiring to be my very best was always a part of my genetic make-up. Having the privilege of becoming a mother to such a sweet soul, as well as being a part of an organisation that makes me feel whole allows me to give my very best daily. Being a mother is a blessing. Knowing that I no longer exist for self makes me want to push harder. Doing the very best for her and hearing 'I love you mommy' gives me a feeling that at times is indescribable.”
In terms of the attributes that she wants her child to emulate: “The one takeaway that I desire for my daughter to carry with her through life is that she is more than capable of achieving anything she desires, with effort and dedication and despite what life throws at her. It is how she responds to the blows that will determine the results.”
Stephanie HarrisonSenior Manager - Marketing, Mayberry Investments LimitedChild: Ryleigh Royce Reid, 11 months old
Harrison's areas of responsibility include leading the marketing functions for Mayberry Investments Limited and Mayberry Jamaican Equities, including brand recognition, digital marketing for all social media channels, advertising, public and media relations, events, and sponsorships.
AW: How have you had to change the way you carry out your roles as a mother and a professional this year?
SH: Becoming a mother has been one of the most life-altering experiences for me. Motherhood has allowed me to be more efficient and productive with balancing my time; enforcing me to prioritise the different areas of my life. This includes my family, my career, my social life, and my personal goals. During the pandemic, it has also caused me to be working from home, which I find that I am more productive with work and I can also spend more time with Ryleigh. My roles remain the same as I have adjusted my life by finding a balance; however, I am even more motivated now that Ryleigh is in our lives, which is beyond fulfilling.
AW: What is your motivation for giving your best both at home and at work?
SH: I have an excellent support system that includes my partner, Ryan Reid, our daughter, and, of course, my nanny Kayan, which I think is very important to have to soldier on through each day. They are an intrinsic motivator for me. My nanny creates a safe and stimulating environment for Ryleigh and there's a level of trust that we have knowing that she takes the best care of our daughter. Ryan inspires me to be better, to do more with my life, to follow my dreams, to be passionate, to do all those things I never planned on doing on my own. He teaches me about life by simply living his own. My family is the one that never fails to fuel inspiration for me; both at home and at work.
AW: What is your number one attribute that you want your child to emulate?
SH: Resilience is the number one quality I'd want Ryleigh to develop – the ability to overcome serious hardship. Emulating this quality will help her not only to deal with difficulties that are a part of everyday life, but also to develop the basic skills and habits that will help her to deal with challenges later in life and in her future.
There are many things that I want Ryleigh to know and learn. Apart from resilience and discipline, I want her to grow up as loving, kind, happy and successful individual.
AW: What's the best advice you have got as a first-time mom?
SH: My best friend said to me, “You know your child best and you need to trust your own inner voice and tune out anything that isn't helpful to your situation”.
The best thing to do is to trust yourself. As a mom, we know what's best for our children and trust the process. The little things we think are big things will pass.
Kerry Ann MyrieMerchandising Supervisor, The Best Dressed ChickenChildren: Daunte Williams, 15, Kaeshaun Myrie, 9
Myrie manages and leads a team of over 40 merchandisers across the island. She is extremely focused on serving customers and ensuring they have the full suite of The Best Dressed Chicken, Hamilton and Reggae Jammin products readily available to satisfy their needs.
“With the changes brought on by the pandemic, I have had to adjust my schedule and priorities to ensure that both family and work responsibilities are met,” she says. “So, now I wake up an hour earlier for my personal devotions and to set things in place for the day ahead. A big demand is having to manage homeschool activities to ensure that my boys are keeping up with their assignments and learning. As a mother and working professional planning ahead of time is critical and having a schedule has helped to me to manage my time well and balance work and home duties. And, of course, having a supportive family has tremendously helped me to keep pace.”
Myrie says the desire to see her children become strong, exemplary young men is her motivation for giving her best both at home and at work.
“[I want them to] make a positive impact on their generation.”
She also highlighted being acknowledged by her husband for being his best support system, and knowing that her efforts on the job will help the team to reap success, as key factors.
Asked about the number one attribute that she wants her children to emulate, she said, “My tenacity. I impress upon them to understand that life will have its share of curveballs to throw at them; however, through determination and a good measure of faith, they will be able to move mountains.”
Jhenelle LawrenceClient Experience Manager, PROVENChildren: Jazz, three years, Lazer, two years
Lawrence's role is to manage client interactions and ensure that each physical and digital touchpoint throughout the clients' journey with PROVEN is engaging, efficient and effective. Effectively managing this ultimately drives brand loyalty and increases the company's revenues.
AW: How have you had to change the way you carry out your roles as a mother and a professional this year?:
JL: This year has indeed been challenging; however, it has encouraged me to make the most of the time I have both at work and home, looking at the positives and always looking for solutions especially in this ever changing and as I term it, “COVID-conscious” environment. Also being a little less serious has made me embrace some joyful moments each day. I have also realised that taking care of yourself and making time to do the things you love are incredibly important to being your best towards others. Go for that morning run, do some gardening, book that mani-pedi – you deserve it!
AW: What is your motivation for giving your best both at home and at work?
JL: My husband and kids are my biggest motivators and seeing results from being disciplined and consistent propel me!
AW: What is your number one attribute that you want your children to emulate?
JL: I cannot say just one… I would say my faith and positive mindset... That's a winning combination.