Executive mom

Returning to work after a maternity leave is especially hard for women in leadership roles
By Eileen Chadnick
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 09/07/2006

As a senior-level account manager at Hill and Knowlton, an international public relations agency with Canadian head offices in Toronto, Hilda Kinross was managing one of the agency’s largest accounts when she had her first child more than six years ago. Having children was always in the plan, but so was having a fulfilling and progressive career.

“I always imagined being a career person as well as being a mother. I just couldn’t anticipate how I would balance both,” says Kinross, who today has two children and has since been promoted twice. She’s currently vice-president of technology practice at Hill and Knowlton.

Speaking from her home office where she telecommutes for part of her workweek, Kinross recounts feeling overwhelmed, uncertain and emotionally stressed — particularly with her first maternity leave. But her resourcefulness and tremendous support from her employer, which included flexible work arrangements, a fully functional home office and supportive colleagues, helped her get through her leaves and get back on track.