52 minutes | Sep 25th 2020

Ep 182. Dana Sumpter: Working Parents in Pandemic Times

Dr. Dana Sumpter is an associate professor of organization theory and management at Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business. Her research employs a cross-cultural lens in understanding social behavior at work, studying topics including energy, mindfulness, power, work/family enrichment, managerial systems, and work relationships. She has published in professional journals and has been quoted in various popular outlets. Dr. Sumpter's research has received grants from the Center for Innovation Research in Cultural Intelligence and Leadership, and UC Irvine’s Center for Organizational Research. She is a member of two micro-communities of scholars: Mindfulness at Work, which she co-founded, Positive Relationships at Work. Her recent award-winning international management case focused on a woman’s expatriate human resource experience in Oman. Across 10 Asia-Pacific nations, Professor Sumpter led live executive training and coached executives on people management skills. She is an avid traveler, who has spent time in more than 30 countries (and counting!).

In this episode, Stew and Dana discuss her new research, with her colleague Mona Zanhour, on mothers during the pandemic. Dana discusses best practices for working mothers, their partners in parenting, and their employers, including how to engage in meaningful dialogue toward viable new approaches for what, where, and how things get done, and by whom in the domestic sphere.  She shares ideas about how to make self-care a priority because of how crucial it is in enabling working mothers to cope well with the intense pressures of our time.  And they discuss the importance of hope and the potential silver linings in these dark and difficult times.  

Here then is an invitation, a challenge, for you, once you’ve listened to the conversation.  Ask yourself this question, if you’re a working mother or want to develop an idea to help one you might know:  What small step can you take now to better care of yourself and how by doing so will you increase your capacity to help those who depend on you?  Write to Stew (friedman@wharton.upenn.edu) or connect with him on LinkedIn.  While you’re at it, share your thoughts with him on this episode and your ideas for people you’d like to hear on future shows.  

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