President's Message

Pamela Harms President, Organization of Women Leaders

The OWL ladies and guests enjoyed another great speaker at our March meeting, Noriko Namiki, CEO of the Oahu YWCA.  The work performed by Noriko and her team at the YWCA to empower women in our community is truly inspirational.  Noriko also hosted our OWL luncheon at the YWCA, and attendees had nothing but rave reviews about Noriko, the venue, and the food!   

As we all know, May is Mother’s Day.  A time to honor not only our own mothers, but all mothers.  The official U.S. Mother’s Day holiday arose in the 1900s as a result of the efforts of Anna Jarvis. Following her mother’s death in 1905, Anna Jarvis conceived of Mother’s Day as a way of honoring the sacrifices mothers make every day for their children.

We have many mothers among our OWL members who we honor on Mother’s Day.  As we all know, being a working mother isn’t easy.  For myself, raising two daughters while working long hours in the U.S. Army, sometimes spending months away from them, was certainly stressful.  A recent study found that the women most surprised by the difficulties of motherhood were those women with college degrees, those who had babies later, those who had working mothers, and those who had assumed they would have careers.  Even though highly educated mothers were less likely to quit working, they were more likely to say that being a parent was harder than they had expected.

As leaders who may be juggling work and motherhood, and/or managing working mothers, we should strive to be sensitive to issues faced by our working mothers.  Although we may have different interpretations of what “work-life balance” means to us, we need to support and assist all women in the workplace in deciding what that means to them, and then help them attain it!