How can women juggle parenting and a profession? The question drives Nataly Kogan, CEO of Work It, Mom!, every day.
(Photo by Jason Johns)
Why start an online community for working mothers?
Last fall, I said to my husband, "You know, I want to talk to other career moms." I'd always had this kind of very high-powered office job. I didn't know how else to do it, and I didn't know what the options were. So I went online and started typing in "communities for working moms" and "connect with working moms," and I kept coming up empty. And I said to him, "Avi, I'm going to do this." How is workitmom.com different from other mom-oriented sites?
One of the things we really wanted to do is pre-sent for moms the different ways you can work. And I think, in a broader scale, if we can influence change, I'd love it, because I think corporations have to understand that you can have a mom who works from home two days a week, and she's putting in a tremendous amount of time and energy. She's not slacking.
You and your husband founded a publishing company, which you later sold. Your first book, The Daring Female's Guide to Ecstatic Living, was published last year. You've worked in finance, most recently as a managing director at a venture-capital firm. Now you're the CEO of your own company. You're 31. Your daughter, Mia, is 3. Do you find it strange that people define you primarily as a mother?
I think, in some sense, you maintain different identities as a man. If you're a woman, the mom part is supposed to take over. But just because you have a child doesn't mean you should be singularly regarded as a mom.
What's the hardest thing you've faced as a mom with a career?
The biggest challenge, I think, is internal. We've seen it in so many ways that we constantly feel inadequate as a mom, as a professional.
What's your take on the stay-at-home vs. working-mom debate?
I respect stay-at-home moms, maybe more than moms who work in an office. I think they have a much harder job than we do.
Are there any dads at Work It, Mom?
Well, Avi [Spivack, her husband] writes a "Work It, Dad" blog. I think there's a very strong possibility that, in the future, we'll become Work It, Parents.
Do you ever get a chance to relax? Some people meditate, I walk. I'm too Type A to meditate.
How much sleep do you get per night?
I'm wearing really good makeup. MAC concealer. On a really good night? Six hours. So, between 4 ½ and 5.
You just moved to Newton from New York City. What's been the biggest adjustment?
Space. Mia has a playroom in the basement and her toys fit in her room, so our living room is toy-free. I'm still getting used to it.
Lylah M. Alphonse