Sophia Chen, wife, mother and Business Project Manager at Jabil Huangpu, recalls sometimes feeling overwhelmed on her commutes to and from work. “I felt like work time was bleeding into my personal time and personal time was bleeding into my work time,” said Sophia. “No matter how hard I tried, I felt like I was struggling in juggling my duties as a mom, wife and devoted employee. Surely, I thought to myself, I wasn’t the only female with these feelings.”
The idea suddenly came to Sophia to create a platform at the Jabil Huangpu site for working mothers to come together, discuss and share their experiences on such topics as education, relationships with family members and parenthood.
Sophia arranged for meetings to be held every Thursday evening at the Jabil site from 6pm to 8pm, with one hour devoted to a lecture and the other to discussion.
“We’ve had lectures from some well-known people including Professor Fang Dequan, a proponent of early education, as well as Professor Zhou Hong who gives parenting lectures,” said Chen.
In addition to holding weekly meetings, several club members participate in monthly outings with their families. In the past the group members and their families have gone to the park to fly kites and visited the local museum.
Once a quarter the group also gets together to exchange lightly used children’s items. “Since our children grow up very fast, it seems like books, clothes and toys need to constantly be updated,” said Sophia. “Our homes are full of used stuff which do not fit our children anymore. The exchange activity can help parents to save money.”
Over time the club, which aims to integrate home and work more seamlessly, has experienced a significant increase in popularity. “When the club first started we had about 20 members and today we have about 180 members, including some fathers as well,” said Sophia. “One mother told me that she needed to go home to her twins every day after work, but she would make an exception on Thursday evenings for our meetings. Even though it meant taking two hours out of her evening, she found that the lectures and discussions improve her relations with her mother-in-law, her children and her husband.”
We want to hear from you: Do you have a similar program at your site or know of similar programs at other sites?
Sophia joined Jabil in 2004 as an EIT Planner. She was promoted to the role of Business Project Manager in 2009. Prior to joining Jabil, Sophia received her Bachelor’s Degree in English from Guangdong University of Foreign Studies. While at Jabil Sophia received her MBA from Sichuan University and took lessons in leadership from Harvard University