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Alter Conf New York 2017

This presentation, by Yasmin J. Mattox, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0
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Professional women and their families lose out on upwards of 20-30% of lifetime income, and approximately 63% of immediate (within year of childbirth) income, to the ‘motherhood penalty,” due to the transition from pregnancy to becoming mothers, which is a major driving force of the 'gender pay gap.' Employers also lose millions on retention costs due to the attrition of remarkably talented women from the workplace, often due to the seemingly insurmountable task for women to balance family with work obligations while working in highly demanding careers. This is something that few employers do much to mitigate even though they often state that doing so is critical to organizational success and that they are willing to invest in solutions. As a result, there are dire societal and economic consequences that arise because society has not yet developed a framework for planning for family and career that is integrated to 1) consider the health and professional realities of pregnancy and the postpartum period, 2) that is proactive and synchronized, and 3) that treats both women’s desire to create life and create value through work as core aspects of their identities deserving of sustained support and synchronous effort that benefits all. In this vein, this talk will provide a brief background on this disappointing status quo, but also offer hope for a better way forward through the creation of AI-driven technology that will help professional women transition from pregnancy to motherhood in a way that optimizes their ability to more efficiently advance in their careers with fewer unintended setbacks. This talk will incorporate insights based on the speaker’s experiences as a professional mother and entrepreneur with two daughters, and a third on the way, as well as those of other professional mothers, as the user-centric blueprint for this technology. Public health issues related to pregnancy and the postpartum period, such as perinatal and postpartum depression, will be discussed in the context of the real need to proactively plan for this wondrous but potentially turbulent time in women’s lives with a sensitivity towards professional impact and advancement, and a woman’s preservation of her ability to be self-sufficient as it can be addressed with technology.

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