In search of a new career while balancing family responsibilities

The pathway to dental health aide therapist
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Working mothers are a major part of the workforce. Two-thirds of moms in married couple families and three-quarters of unmarried moms are employed, according to the latest number from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

February is National Parent Leadership Month, and WorkingNation would like to celebrate two working mothers from our Do Something Awesome series who balance their roles in the home and in the workplace while going through the rigorous process of switching careers.

Jennifer Treeman, an aircraft mechanic and mother of two sons, faced a lot of challenges when pursuing her certification from North Idaho College’s Aviation Maintenance Program, including a 3:30 am start to every morning.

Anna DeGraffenreid, a Coeur d’Alene tribe member from Idaho who takes care of two children and a grandchild, also faced similar problems while facing the rigorous classwork of the Alaska Dental Therapy Educational Program so she could become a dental health aide therapist.

The dedication of parents like Jennifer and Anna leaves their kids better equipped for the workplace than their counterparts. For example, daughters who grow up with working mothers earn as much as 23 percent more over their lifetimes than daughters of stay-at-home moms, according to a Harvard Business School study.

Balancing work with family life can be challenging. So how do we work to make a satisfactory work-life balance easier to attain?

Experts suggest that employers offer more paid family leave, add better protections for part-time workers, put less emphasis on overwork, institute better scheduling practices, put limits on overtime, improve access to affordable childcare, and eliminate the gender pay gap.

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