Leadership, Your Career and Motherhood – Summer Edwards

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“We should never forget that great change often seems impossible before it happens and we just have to trust that every little thing we do to stand up for ourselves is going to contribute to the tipping point that will normalise a different view of mums and flexible workers in the workplace.”

Summer Edwards is a Life and Leadership Coach, and the founder of Lead Mama Lead, a social enterprise that empowers working mothers to drive change in the workplace. With a background in community development programs, working in Indigenous Affairs and internationally in developing countries, she has a strong interest in gender empowerment work, inclusive economies and social enterprise development.

After becoming a mother, Summer found herself called to do something more with her experiences and challenges with work and motherhood. The Lead Mama Lead community (based around a website and a Facebook group) was born, because engaged motherhood and an engaged career should not be mutually exclusive.

What we cover:

  • The challenges Summer faced negotiating work in a part time role as a new Mum
  • How a blog side-project helped her find challenging, career-worthy work in her field of expertise
  • The power of small steps, incremental changes, and treating your leadership path as an experiment
  • How to discover what energises you by asking reflective questions:
      • What have I really loved doing?
      • What kinds of activities have I got lost in?
      • Where have I found that sense of flow?
      • What activities leave me feeling energised and on a high?
      • What tends to deplete me and how can I do less of that over time?
      • What do I always ask for more of at work?
      • What has really worked for me in my career?
      • What challenges have I overcome before?
      • What can I draw on from those previous experiences?
  • The importance of clearing space and avoiding distractions in order to create change in our lives
  • The leadership skills we learn from parenting
  • Why we need to change our views of success and transform the workplace to recognise that home and family life matters too
  • The power of community in supporting women’s confidence to challenge the system
  • The trap of internalising unrealistic expectations about parenting and working
  • The two big problems impacting mums: Imposter Syndrome and Overwhelm


We mention some resources in this episode, including ways to work with Summer:

The Lead Mama Lead Website

The Lead Mama Lead Facebook Group

Summer’s Overcoming Overwhelm course

We also mentioned authors Brené Brown and Annabel Crabb, who you can find on Twitter.

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