• The great resignation explained (for regular folks) and some solutions to go with it!

    I have been in HR for 20 years. I have seen all sorts of things in dozens of different industries. I worked through SARS, upswings and downswings, and many different governments. Let me be very clear that I have NEVER seen a mass exodus of employees like this and there are some very good reasons for it.

    To start, a quote “We are entering an age of employee activism that may well upend our assumptions about power in organizations”

    So, what does this look like in reference to “the great resignation”? Let me break it down.

    Retirement – people who may have worked even 10 years longer looked at their world during a pandemic and decided that this was not what they wanted. People in their 50s who had planned to work longer have sold houses in urban areas and bought small places in the country. They have done the math and will make it work with some consulting or freelancing.

    Childcare – To say that women bore the brunt of the pandemic is now laughable to even have to mention. The world relies on women’s unpaid labour – in all levels of work, women have been decimated by society’s unrealistic expectations. Women exited the workforce in alarming numbers, and they have been unable to return. Unstable daycare, unavailable childcare, and the mental health challenges they face due to the absolute trauma of working 24 hours a day 7 days a week for 2 years mean they are not ready to return – not yet.

    Short-term and Long-Term Leave – I did disability case management for years. I know what normal rates of leaves look like. These are not them friends. Stress leave, stress-induced medical complications, long COVID, and all the previous reasons that people took leave mean that an alarming number of people are on leave at this very moment.

    Career Change Part 1 (2020 – 2021) – COVID meant that a large number of workers were suddenly unemployed – airlines, servers, restaurant staff, theatre employees, and more. While they were trying to stay safe – many of them found the time to aim for something new. Many of them decided to head in a new direction. Many of them have found a whole new career. But this means that specific sectors are short-staffed, and many have no job openings. So, it is a weird pattern.

    Career Change Part 2 (2022 – present) What do you get when people attack nurses and doctors and call them liars? What do you get when our government goes after teachers and education workers?  When they continue to publicly attack the women. Well, just the same thing that you would do. They are leaving.

    Shocking that when you refuse to give a cost-of-living increase to people, they leave.

    Shocking when you purposefully underfund education and healthcare people leave. (I am certain this is being done intentionally) For reference please see the following:

    If you want to read all about it, please read the Financial Accountability Office’s report on public sector salaries. Please note the part where it talks about how Bill 124 has impacted wages. Then they follow up with how now there is a staffing crisis. SHOCK, GASP. It is like they did it on purpose. Also, yes – the government was sued for implementing Bill 124 and we won against them. Bill 124 is illegal.

    The gig economy – Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, entrepreneurs. The world of work has changed. I don’t think for the better. Why is it that any amount of flexibility comes with the complete loss of safety, security, benefits & more? The gig economy is the biggest issue that we will have to grapple with in the next 10 years, but I know (as a person who runs a company called Moms at Work) that much of it is a response to the total lack of support in our society for caregivers and women and disabled individuals.  How do I know? I am a woman, disabled, and a caregiver, and work didn’t work for me.

    If you are losing top talent, talent, anyone really – there are many things you can do:

    1. Get serious about offering part-time. If you cannot fill a full-time job – see if you can fill a job share or 2 part-time roles.
    2. Start talking about flexibility – ask your staff. Different shifts, hybrid, remote roles, core hours. No one wants a yoga class at lunch Steve – they want to be able to attend a doctor’s appointment and not feel guilty.
    3. Get transparent about what you are offering in your job post. What does it pay, what are the hours, where is the job located (be specific – people are getting picky)
    4. Talk about why what you do matters. Now, this may be hard for some companies (cough oil companies, cough union busting businesses – cough Starbucks) but many people have valid trust issues after being treated like garbage during COVID. So show them how you will value them.
    5. Ignore career gaps. Asking someone what they were doing during July 2020 and August 2021 is unnecessary – quietly whisper (oh right a pandemic) and move on with your life.
    6. Ask people what they need. Do people need more vacation time? Fewer hours? Bigger projects? More independence? Many of the things employees need are absolutely free or very low cost – shame you would lose an employee of 10 years because they are feeling unchallenged and you never asked.

    That is all for today folks. If you want to read more abnormally blunt career advice please follow me on Linkedin or Instagram or join our newsletter to get new posts straight to your inbox

    Allison Venditti is a Career Coach, HR Expert, salary negotiation whisperer, and pay transparency and equity advocate. She is the founder of Moms at Work Canada’s largest organization committed to helping women earn more money, land better jobs, and build community. All with a LARGE HELPING of advocacy baked in.


  • A love letter to all the Moms at Work

    Hey you,

    Come and sit down. 

    I have one thing to say and if you don’t read any further just take this message with you every single place you go. 

    I am really proud of you.

    Proud of you for showing up.  For saying no. For trying your hardest to be all the things. For all of it.

    No one talked about how hard this would be.

    No one prepared you for the guilt, the anger, the rage and the sadness that would come with what working + mothering would bring.

    I want to tell you something else. You have done nothing wrong. 

    It isn’t that you didn’t work hard enough, put in enough hours, lean in the right way or took the wrong women’s leadership course. The truth is – that work wasn’t designed for you. It wasn’t made for caregivers – but that doesn’t make it right. And I am NOT telling you to just accept this and move on.

    I want you to come in close and listen to me. 

    You are not alone. There are MILLIONS of working mothers and I want to tell you a secret. We are organizing. 

    Now, I want you to imagine this. 

    You get invited to dinner and all you need to do is show up.

    You don’t need to put on make up or get a babysitter or bring wine.

    You don’t need to email and remind your partner to come with you.

    You don’t even need to RSVP – because we are always here for you.

    We just want you. 

    All of you – not hiding pieces of yourself.

    I want you to bring your ambition and your kid’s special needs and your love for music and your stories of how you were denied a promotion. I want you to share your amazing grades from school, your volunteer work. I want you to be too much. I want you to be angry and furious and full of laughter. I want it all.

    I want you to sit down and see me smiling at you.

    Welcome to Moms at Work I say. 

    We have been waiting for you.

    We are going to make this better. 

    Not by fixing you. You are perfect.

    We need to change work and expectations and that is not easy but I promise you it is indeed possible.

    I want you to come and listen and learn and I want you to share the things you learn with other women, your kids, your partner and your workplace. I want you to talk about us. I want you to bring us with you to work, on your walk with friends and when the time comes I want you to bring us to talk with your workplace. I want you to bring others to join us.

    I want you to know that you don’t need to do this alone. You don’t need to fight everyday but you do need to try, and fail, and then sit down and be frustrated. But then I want you to get up. Try again. And if it is too heavy hand it to me. I can take it. I promise you I can. 

    I want you to know that you are no longer alone. You are a part of something big. 

    You are now part of something bigger than we could never have imagined.

    I believe in all the things that Moms at Work can be.

    I believe in you.

    I believe in myself 

    And sometimes that belief is more important than anything else in the world.

    So come and sit with us. But if you take nothing from this letter other than one thing – let it be this.

    Remember how very very proud I am of you.



    Allison Venditti

    Founder – Moms at Work

    If you never want to miss a touching love letter, update on our advocacy, our latest project to support the change of parental leave in Canada or how to join our Collective group before it fills up (and it always fills up!) Join our newsletter here


  • 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.


  • 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

    Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, Hon. Monte McNaughton,

    Minister of Finance, Hon. Rod Phillips,

    Solicitor General (responsible for the Anti-Racism Directorate). Hon. Sylvia Jones,

    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


  • 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:


    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


    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.