Lessons Learned: Mother’s Day Edition

To celebrate Mother’s Day, which is May 13 in the U.S., we are dedicating this week’s Wednesdays for Women blog to our mothers. To do that, we asked the leaders of our Women’s Interest Network (JDA WIN) to share lessons they learned from their mothers that shaped them into the women they are today. Responses from a few of them follow. And, from everyone at JDA, we say #ThanksMom!

Jennifer Fasolino, Senior Business Systems Analyst, Customer Success/Scottsdale Chapter Lead

Growing up in the Chicago suburbs, my mom was an anomaly in that she worked full-time outside the home when all of my friends’ moms stayed at home.  I was a latch-key kid as of third grade.  So early on I learned to be self-sufficient, getting my homework done without anyone prodding or someone hovering over me.  If I was hungry, I would find something to eat, or cook something up for myself.  Being alone may have been scary in the beginning but I soon adjusted and actually enjoyed the solitude until my mom got home from the office.  That independence strengthened me to be unafraid and to also know I can depend on myself.  My mom had come to the U.S. for graduate school and like many immigrants of the time, English was a second language and there was no one to lean on for support since she was the first one in her family to leave China to study abroad. I think her tenacity to figure things out on her own (no other option!), the perseverance to not just survive but thrive in a foreign country, and the strong belief that she would make a future for herself and her family has powerfully influenced how I see the world and how I navigate through life’s ups and downs.  Keep positive, work hard, and things will turn out okay.  I have my mom to thank for those amazing beliefs.

Sandi Wozniak, Product Director, Product Management/Waukesha Chapter Lead

My mom was one of my greatest teachers in life; strong and confident, she led by example.  Of the many lessons I learned from her, one of the most impactful was that important things, large and small, do not get done without someone taking the initiative to lead.  If an event or project needed to happen, she was the one to get the ball rolling and make sure a group worked together to get it done.  Whether it was a work project, neighborhood camping group, the PTA, scouting activity or the monthly social gatherings she organized with friends, she was always there taking initiative to move things forward because these experiences with family, friends and colleagues mattered most to her.  I am grateful for this lesson and the wonderful legacy of memories that resulted from her hard work.

Stacy Vore, Global Operations Director, Cloud Management/Dallas Chapter Lead

I have learned so much from my mom it is so hard to pick one.  One that stands out is how to plan.  She taught me to always plan.  To have a plan B and C in my pocket.  This has helped me all throughout my career especially when working with Customers and Projects.  We all know customers and projects can change directions or not go according to the plan.  By planning and preparing, it allows me to stay calm under pressure and transition quickly to the changes.

Kellie Allmon-Davis, Support Team Lead, Consulting Development Services/Roswell Chapter Lead

The life lesson can be summed up in two words: keep living. My mother would often say that as a reminder to continuously move forward. Despite disappointments, distractions and discouragement, keep living! If you haven’t reached a goal, keep living – you will get there. Failed today? Keep living; tomorrow you may succeed! You were born to be great. Keep living until those around you know the same.

Mahima Sugumaran, Program Manager, Services-Cloud/Bangalore Chapter Lead

Being a single mom, she has inspired and shaped me to be what I’m today. What has stuck with me for life are her never give up attitude and taking a positive approach to life in general.

Soujanya Damera, Project Director, Product Development/Hyderabad Chapter Lead

My mom has been a backbone to my career journey. I want to credit all my success both personal and professional to my Mom. She stood beside me through thick and thin, understood my aspirations and made sure I achieved them. She was a self-made, hardworking and strong-willed woman. Inspired by her I was always driven to create my own opportunity which has been my biggest strength and that’s what made me what I am today. She has been a crucial support system which allows me to be what I am today. Looking at her, I have learnt how to be selfless and still have a strong Identity. She taught me to fight through the odds, embrace the failures and use them as stepping stones of success. I can still remember the equanimity and calmness with which she handled the crisis situations when we were growing up. She encouraged me to learn consistently and become a better myself every day. I am proud to be myself and when I look back, it’s her reflection in me which makes me proud.

Ayako Sudo, Senior HR Business Partner/Japan Chapter Lead

What I learned from my mother and what inspires me is how beautiful it is to live as a working mother and to build a career. Regarding the percentage of female managers, Japan is ranked among the bottom two developed countries for women in the workforce with less than 10 percent in the last 10 years (just this year it became 11 percent nationwide). That is compared to other developed countries, which have 40-50 percent of women in the workforce. Here, it is expected that women are supposed to stay home and help their family after they marry. Even if they return to work when their kids are older, it is expected to work part-time making an hourly wage with small responsibility. Under the traditional circumstances, my mother never stopped working full time and she became a manager. During my childhood, I did not understand why my mother came back late at night and gave me pre-served food, even though other mothers were at home and serving a well-cooked dinner. Now, that I am the same age as my mother when she was working – she is now retired – I can’t imagine how tough it was for her continue working when society was telling her that it wasn’t a woman’s place. It is my choice to work or stay home, but I like to serve an organization and realize that my work is a way to shine in my life. Thanks to advanced moms including my mother, our society is gradually changing and now working women are becoming more common nationwide. Whenever I face challenges and Mother’s Day comes, I always remember my mother’s attitude toward work and how much I respect what she did. It cheers me up to have the opportunity to work in an organization like JDA and connect with our great colleagues. I am so lucky to have had such a great example beside me to help me build my professional life.

Lorna Ogden, Senior Benefits Manager/Bracknell Chapter Lead

Over the years my mum has taught me that there isn’t a ‘”no,” there’s a “yes” to giving it a go.

Whether she was painting the fireplace hearth in four or five (pretty hideous) colors and starting again each time we told her “oh, no way,” or learning to swim at 40, or starting her professional studies a few years later, she always sought out or grabbed an opportunity with both hands, even if a little fearful of what lie ahead or people saying she couldn’t do it.  I didn’t realize at the time but mum was, and is still a determined and resilient woman prepared to overcome challenges to succeed. These are important qualities I aim to work by and hope I display, not only for my success, but also to demonstrate to my own daughters, so that when they step into a diverse workforce in the future, they will be right there saying “yes” and having the resiliency to fight for their very best opportunity!

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