Career

  • 2022 Holiday Booklist

    The Moms at Work Collective regularly brings together authors, thinkers, and people dedicated to making an impact. As a group we work on learning, changing and growing as leaders and changemakers.

    As a gift to a friend or yourself, a good book is a beautiful thing. This booklist is made up of books from some of our author guests and recommendations from our members and network. Check them out and join our community.


    Books To Inspire

    Still Hopeful

    Maude Barlow

    A lifetime of advocacy as a feminist and world’s leading water defender. Maude Barlow is an icon – this book is a gift.

    Ejaculate Responsibly: A Whole New Way to Think about Abortion

    Gabrielle Stanley Blair

    Abortion has always been labelled as a women’s issue – what happens when we reframe that?

    Women and Leadership: Real Lives, Real Lessons

    Julia Gillard and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

    The authors take a comprehensive approach to teasing out what is different for women who lead. Real stories, great insight.

    The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation

    Anna Malaika Tubbs

    Mothers are powerful. Read the stories of how these mothers raised leaders and shaped a nation.


    Books To Escape

    Black Sci-Fi Short Stories

    Temi Oh (Foreword), Tia Ross (Co-editor), Dr. Sandra M. Grayson (Introduction)

    This collection is powerful and showcases the world building skills of a set of authors who will change how you see earth and beyond.

    Healing Through Words

    Rupi Kaur

    In her newest release – Canadian poet shares pieces of herself as she attempts to help heal us through words.

    Fierce Fairytales: Poems and Stories to Stir Your Soul

    Nikita Gill

    In this book, gone are the docile women and male saviors. Instead, lines blur between heroes and villains. You will meet fearless princesses, and an independent Gretel who can bring down monsters on her own.

    Woman World

    Aminder Dhaliwal

    When a birth defect wipes out the planet’s entire population of men, Woman World rises out of society’s ashes. Dhaliwal’s infectiously funny graphic novel follows the rebuilding process.


    Books To Grow

    Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot

    Mikki Kendall

    In her searing collection of essays, Mikki Kendall takes aim at the legitimacy of the modern feminist movement, arguing that it has chronically failed to address the needs of all but a few women.

    We Were Feminists Once: From Riot Grrrl to CoverGirl®, the Buying and Selling of a Political Movement

    Andi Zeisler

    What does it mean when social change becomes a brand identity? Feminism’s splashy arrival at the center of today’s media and pop-culture marketplace, after all, hasn’t offered solutions to the movement’s unfinished business. So what is next?

    Laziness Does Not Exist

    Devon Price

    A conversational, stirring call to “a better, more human way to live” that examines the “laziness lie”—which falsely tells us we are not working or learning hard enough.

    Essential Labor: Mothering as Social Change

    Angela Garbes

    Part galvanizing manifesto, part poignant narrative, Essential Labor is a beautifully rendered reflection on care that reminds us of the irrefutable power and beauty of mothering.

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  • The Wage Gap is Real – but we can fix it

    As an HR professional I am a strong advocate for pay transparency. I also run an online community dedicated to supporting working mothers. I refuse to recruit for companies that will not disclose the salary upfront, and I don’t share job advertisements online without posted salary ranges, simply because keeping salaries secret reinforces discrimination.

    We have heard a lot recently in the media about discrimination, how opportunities, perceptions and even a person’s worth to society is largely based on conscious or even unconscious bias. All levels of the Canadian government and private companies alike have come together publicly to support fairness and equality.

    Social media posting, public denouncements of discriminative workplace cultures and news releases are aplenty, but when it comes to implementing corporate policies and government legislation to address these biases, we have gone quiet. We put our heads down and continue on thinking that “well, it’s not me, I don’t discriminate.”

    We know in Canada today:

    • Indigenous women working full-time, full-year earn an average of 35% less than non-Indigenous men, earning 65 cents to the dollar.
    • Racialized women working full-time, full year earn an average of 33% less than non-racialized men, earning 67 cents to the dollar.
    • Newcomer women working full-time, full-year earn an average of 29% less than non-newcomer men, earning 71 cents to the dollar.
    • According to the 2012 Canadian Survey on Disability, women with a disability in Canada working full and part-time earn approximately 54 cents to the dollar when compared to the earnings of nondisabled men, equaling a wage gap of around 46%

    Source: Gender Wage Gap Fact Sheet

    Pay Transparency is not only good corporate policy, it is one of the simplest and fastest ways to prevent unconscious discrimination in hiring practices and close the pay gap.

    In 2018, Ontario launched a 3 year strategy designed to “close the gender wage gap, particularly where it is greatest — for Indigenous, newcomer and racialized women, and women with disabilities.” Part of that plan was theThe Pay Transparency Act.The statute –was scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2019 and would make the following changes:

    • Salary rates or ranges must be stated in all publicly advertised job postings;
    • Candidates may not be asked about their past compensation;
    • Reprisals cannot be made against employees who discuss or disclose compensation;
    • Employers with one hundred or more employees and prescribed employers must track and annually report compensation gaps based on gender and other prescribed characteristics in pay transparency reports;
    • The province must also publish pay transparency reports.

    This Act would have removed the accepted discriminatory practices hidden under the guise of corporate culture and held companies accountable for their equality standards.

    In December 2018, the Government quietly rolled out Bill 57, which halted the implementation of the Pay Transparency Act citing a need for public consultations. The public consultations closed in April 2019, and we have not heard anything since.

    The Pay Transparency Act is ready to go, it received Royal Assent at the end of 2018. If we are truly supportive of equality, and removing long-standing and accepted bias, why are we not forcing the change?

    To quote the amazing Areva Martin “It is not enough to be compassionate. You must act. You must demand change and be the change … we need you to do more than stand.”

    Want the Ontario Conservative government to pass the Pay Transparency Act? Write a letter and share this article and send it to the following people:

    Ontario Premier, Doug Ford doug.fordco@pc.ola.org

    Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, Hon. Monte McNaughton, Minister.MLTSD@ontario.ca

    Minister of Finance, Hon. Rod Phillips, Minister.fin@ontario.ca

    Solicitor General (responsible for the Anti-Racism Directorate). Hon. Sylvia Jones, sylvia.jones@ontario.ca

    Follow us on Instagram: @thisismomsatwork

    Follow us on LinkedIn: Moms At Work

    Join my newsletter and get updated on our advocacy

    Want your voice heard? Share your story? Send me a note on Instagram or join our community on FB — let’s make change

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  • What I want you to know as a working mom of kids with special needs.

    It is hard to listen to other people while they talk about their fantastic last-minute weekend away. Their weeklong all-inclusive vacation that will be so relaxing because they can bring their children to the kid’s club and have other people cook for them.

    It is hard because we are jealous. It is hard because that reality is so far away from our own.

    Our time away is always within 20 minutes of a hospital.

    We have an escape plan.

    In the first two years of motherhood and after almost 50 appointments I knew that I could not work full time or maybe even at all. There is no job that will let me miss 10 days a month and there is no job that would be worth me missing those appointments. Someone might be able to make my kids life better at an appointment. Maybe a new drug or a new treatment. I couldn’t miss that chance.

    It has been 7 years since I had a “real job” an office job with benefits and vacation pay and perks. I struggle with the fact that I make a lot less money than I would had I kept growing my career. It is something that I have never actually said out loud. By saying that maybe that makes me a bad mother.

    Like most parents of kids with frequent medical appointments, I had to make a choice and that choice was my kids. While I will never regret that decision EVER – it was not part of my career plan. No one talks about this in the baby books or in career planning or really ever…

    In a sense I am really lucky. I run a small business and I get to plan my days around appointments. No judgement when I have a sick kid. Time off during school holidays and PA days. But with no paid sick time, vacation pay or a break the promise of the luxury of self-employment feels like a lie.

    In Canada and around the world – so many women have taken time off work to be a caregiver. They have organized appointments, advocated for care, learned a new medical language. They have learned faster and under more stressful circumstances than anyone could ever imagine.

    My journey as mother of 3 kids who have each spent dozens (ok hundreds) of hours at our children’s hospital is far from over. I can walk each and every hallway backwards from immunology to pediatrics to xray to ultrasound and back. I can do it in the middle of the night and first thing in the morning and although I am so incredibly thankful that these hospitals exist I long for the day when I step out the door for the last time.

    As a career coach and the Founder of Moms at Work I am in the fortunate position to be able to say to so many of my clients who have had to care for parents, children and themselves – I see you. I REALLY see you and I want you to hear me when I say – this wasn’t the plan.

    This wasn’t the plan – but I am a different more empathetic person because of it.

    This wasn’t the plan – but I am proud of the person I have become.

    This wasn’t the plan – but I know how powerful, capable and fierce I am.

    This wasn’t the plan – but you are not alone.

    Maybe you will start your own business. Maybe you will just volunteer for a time.

    Maybe you will start something new.

    Maybe you will join our growing community of women who GET IT and want to help

    Moms at Work was not something easy to start. It was not fast – it was not a master plan.

    Your journey won’t be either – but you will do it.

    Because nothing that we do in this life that you are most proud of was easy.

    Not your children.

    Not your success.

    Not the things that took you hundreds of hours.

    I want you to know that Moms at Work is for all working moms. I made it like that for you. Because this wasn’t part of the plan but we are here to help when you are ready.

    Always,

    Allison Venditti – Mama bear to 3 cubs, Founder of Moms at Work, Career Coach, HR expert.

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  • What is success?

    I want you to take a moment and write down 5 things that you think success is.

    Go ahead. I’ll wait.

    Now. Write down 5 things that you think a good life is. Are they the same? Of the 5 things that you used to define success – will those things make you happy? Will they bring you joy? Will you consider your life well spent if you do those things?

    Often the answer is no.

    So let’s take a break then and talk about success differently because work was not designed for women. The success that many of us have been taught to strive for is NOTHING that you actually want.

    I will use myself as an example. I went to university. Got a degree. Got another one. Got a job in HR, got a bigger job in HR, got a consulting gig (ooohhh fancy). These were the things I was taught that I should want.

    Then I had a kid and my worldview changed. I didn’t want to commute 50 minutes each way to a job where I did things I didn’t particularly enjoy. I didn’t want to be the last mom to pick up my kid at daycare and I derived zero satisfaction in helping my company make more money.

    So here is what is broken then. That path TOTALLY works for some people. Sure, amazing for them. But what about the 95% of people who it does not?

    How do WE define success?

    And this is where it gets interesting. Here is my old vs. my new success list:

    MY OLD DEFINITION OF SUCCESS:

    1. Make over 100K
    2. Reach VP title
    3. Become a good manager
    4. Travel opportunities at work
    5. Make impactful change within my organization

    MY NEW DEFINITION OF SUCESS:

    1. Pay myself a salary that allows me to live comfortably
    2. Have the flexibility to be there for my family
    3. Build a thriving community that supports both me and our vision for a better workplace for all.
    4. Not work Fridays
    5. The opportunity to learn, teach and change systems

    The second list is something we NEVER talked about. These were shameful things to ask for. These were ways of working that do not conform to archaic workplaces but there HAS to be new versions of success. There HAS to be new ways of working.

    The old ways are not working – so I want you to find your new success goals.

    If you want to meet with other women who are ready to work differently. Who are supportive. Who will help you find new ways and have a lot of fun doing it – come and join us.

    The Moms at Work Collective is launching again soon. Get on the waitlist and come and figure this out with us.

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