Michelle Tovar-Mora
Instagram: @galvanizestem

1. If you could describe working moms in one word what would it be?

2. What does being a “Momgineer” mean to you?
Being a Momgineer means being an example to all the young women out there that “We don't have to choose between motherhood and our careers; We can be both, mothers and career driven women”. Although I will not sugarcoat and say that it comes easy. You do have to be determined and organized to create a balance but, IT IS POSSIBLE.

3. What is your advice for navigating your way as a woman in STEM/Trades?
My best advice is to build that support system that will not only help you get through college but will also break the workforce barrier and guide you through your career road map.

4. What are some resources you wish more women knew about?
I wish more women knew and got involved with professional organizations that provide a good support system and resources for women such as the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), Women in Technology International (WITI), Women in Energy.

5. What is your best pro-tip on how working moms can advocate for themselves in the workplace?
One of the best pieces of advice I can give a working mom is to not be afraid to advocate for change in policies that support not only working moms but, working parents as a whole. I discovered that often companies talk about family values however, their policies do not reflect that. You will be surprised how much you can change by speaking up, showing statistics, and becoming your own advocate. If you are not in the position of power, gather allies in position of power to help you out

Mychelle Fernandez
Instagram: @workingmomstribe

1. If you could describe working moms in one word what would it be?

2. Do you have advice for women struggling to pick between or balance a career and a family?
For women struggling to pick between or balance a career and a family, I would remind them that having a career is one way we show our family we love them by providing for them. With awareness and intention it is possible to set healthy boundaries to ensure our family gets as much, if not more of our time and energy, as our career. Our careers certainly don’t make it easy to find balance, but by consciously and regularly evaluating our priorities (DAILY) and the boundaries we’ve set, it is possible. It’s the quality of the time spent and memories made with family that matter most. The pandemic really helped employees reflect on what matters most and employers recognize the human needs of their employees. There has never been a better time to have effective conversations to help redesign our workdays, workweeks, and workplaces to better serve both employers and employees.

3. What’s your top career-oriented tip? What’s your top family-oriented tip?
My top career-oriented tip is to ensure your decisions and actions contribute to the GROWTH of both you and your employer. My top family-oriented tip is that you won’t be able to be there for every event and activity but try to learn and be there for the ones that matter most to them and to fully be present there when you are.

4. What is your best pro-tip on how working moms can advocate for themselves in the workplace?
My best pro-tip on how working moms can advocate for themselves in the workplace is to always focus and highlight the value you bring to your team/department/organization. This is difficult for women to do because it may feel boastful or arrogant. There is so much focus on our shortcomings (us needing time off for children’s events, needing pregnancy or nursing accommodations, being less able/experienced, etc.), we must constantly bring the focus to the value we bring through our contributions, skills, experiences, and perspectives. Our value matters and is just as pivotal to the success of our teams/organizations as those of our counterparts.

5. What are some resources you wish more women knew about?
Some resources I wish more women knew about are the various support groups (both online and in in person) available to educate and encourage emerging leaders, women, and working moms and help them recognize they are not alone in their challenges and struggles. There is power and magic to hearing and sharing each other’s stories and successes. I have a small Facebook group for working moms to connect and encourage and support each other. It is just one example of these kinds of groups (and all are welcome to join)! In addition, many women are not aware of resource groups established by their employers (affinity groups, business resource groups, employee resource groups, etc). They can be great resources that provide company or industry specific support and development for women. I have found often women are aware of such resources but do not value their own personal and professional development enough to make the time to tap into these resources. So I also wish employers would invest in creative ways to empower and encourage their female employees to invest in their personal and professional growth (including the sponsoring/funding of such support). There is a SIGNIFICANT return on this investment that employers are not taking advantage of that would be beneficial to everyone.

Medinah Eatman
Instagram: @science.teacher.mom

1. If you could describe working moms in one word what would it be?

2. How can working moms advocate for themselves?
I think working moms can advocate for themselves by being vocal about their needs and wants, whether it is something that they just need a moment of time or if it's something physical that they need. They need to be able to speak up whether it's to their employer to their significant other or even to their children, what they need at the time.

3. If you could give your past self any advice, what would it be?
If I could give my past self some advice. I would tell her that it's not that serious, all the stuff you stressed about when you were younger about what's going to happen. It is not that serious.

4. What was your drive to help homeschooling parents?
My Drive in helping homeschooling parents is that I realized that there was an opening where there was many parents who felt that they were not ready. They were not well equipped to homeschool their own children. And a lot of parents want what's best for them. And so by providing them with the tools to help their children, I'm bringing confidence now to the parents that now that they can homeschool their students using stem.


Ingrid Read
Instagram: @workingmomkind

1. If you could describe working moms in one word, what would it be?
There isn't a single word that could sum up all that a mother embodies, but if I had to pick one word, it would be complex. There are so many unique qualities, traits, and skills involved, and one word is not enough, but this is the closest I can get.

2. What is your advice for navigating your way as a new working mom?
Have flexibility in your expectations of what you can achieve in a day! So much changes the moment you become a mother. You suddenly have to adapt to a new schedule that depends on your children, you are exhausted and often sleep-deprived, and your day-to-day isn't what it used to be. In my experience, flexibility is critical when learning to embrace this new life. The more flexible you are, the easier it will be to get through the unexpected- which happens more often than we'd like as parents.

3. What are some resources you wish more women knew about?
I want every mom reading this (new moms and veteran moms) to know there are tools and resources available for us now that did not exist before. From communities like Working Momkind and companies like Poppy Seed Health offering 24/7 text access to doulas, midwives, and nurses, to companies like Parento, pioneering employer-paid leave insurance and integrating coaching for parents in the workplace.

Thanks to social media, you can now find these resources faster, so make sure you are on the lookout and take the time to do your research. You might not need them now but could use them later. Plus, it helps to be informed so you can share these resources with friends.

4. How can working moms advocate for themselves in the workplace?
My advice is to educate yourself as much as possible. Whether you are thinking of starting a family, expecting, or already have children, the best way to advocate for yourself in the workplace begins with educating yourself and knowing your rights.

Also, I always recommend connecting with fellow parents at work. Even if it's cross-department, establishing connections with a wide variety of colleagues from leadership to entry-level can help make improvements to accommodate all. Meeting and connecting with fellow parents is essential to ensure you have support and community in the workplace.

And if you realize the company culture and policies are not family-friendly, and after voicing your concerns, nothing has changed, make a plan to take action.

5. What do you think working moms need more of?
More support is needed across the board. Even if employees are not parents yet, companies need to do better to support their employees by making their culture and policies family-friendly. Just because your employees are not parents yet, doesn't mean they don't plan to in the future. Employers need to be proactive and prepare to be ready to support their employees when it is time.

A few ways to improve policies for parents can range from preparing to go on leave and returning from leave to offering flexible work schedules and remote options (where possible) to improving the health and wellness benefits offered.

Laura Pietro
Instagram: @stem_paws

1. If you could describe working moms in one word what would it be?

2. What do you think it means to be a mom?
To be a mom is to be a guide, like a roadmap that gives you tips and tries to find new routes for you to have a smooth ride without so many bumps on the road, but when you do face a bump, that roadmap is there to help you through it and find your way again, no matter for how long you have travelled, the roadmap is always there to help you and get you back on track.

3. Why did you start your stem_paws account and shop? How did you hope to make an impact?
I wanted to highlight the importance of a strong support system when we are pursuing our dreams, and for me, my dream was to become an engineer, and along with God and my family, my dog Lucky was one of the biggest supporters throughout my STEM/Engineering journey. This led me to start seeing other women in STEM and how their dogs were also part of their journey and I knew I wanted to create something that would help those women express that bond between their loving pets and their career, since I could not find anything in the market that did that, and that is how STEM Paws began! I want to have an impact on the lives of other women in STEM, to help them stay excited about what they do and help them increase their confidence as well as in the process show others that as women, we really can do anything! I am actually rebranding soon to create something even bigger for women in STEM and it will still have a component for their pets, but will focus even more on the women since throughout this STEM Paws journey I have been able to connect with a lot more women in STEM and have noticed that something else is missing for all of us!

4. What is your advice for navigating your way as a woman in STEM/Trades?
This will sound cheesy, but after almost 12 years through this journey I have finally found it to be so true. My advice would be to Believe in yourself and BE yourself; we all change through the experiences we live through, so be the version of yourself that you are today, but be it with love and confidence in yourself, and that version will evolve but don't be afraid to let it shine. For a long time I felt like I was pretending to be someone at work, like I couldn't take my full self to work because I was afraid of falling into so many stereotypes, especially in the male dominated industry that I work in, but when I began to let more of my personality come out at work, and started feeling more comfortable knowing my differences and embracing them, letting my past experiences be part of who I am, and not being afraid to let that shine through, I began to see more growth not just in my career but personally as well. You will be surprised how much you have to offer and how valuable it will be in not just your career but in your life as a whole!
I would like to add that as a way to share my experiences and my lessons learned throughout my career, entrepreneurial, and motherhood journeys I host a weekly podcast called Pongase las Pilas, even though the name is in Spanish, the episodes are mostly in English and my instagram for that one is @pongaselaspilaspodcast in case anyone would like to connect with me there!