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  • Writer's pictureJessica Webster

Stockholm Sure Sounds Nice

My friend Lisa S. sent me the above Harvard Business Review story of the two Sarahs. Two women with similar education, backgrounds, and careers. Please take three minutes to read through it. For real. Here is the link again:

As I read the article on my phone in the Starbucks drive-through, while my two Littles fought over the noises made by their respective tablets (a typical symptom of their sibling love), tears filled my eyes. I was moved by the two women's stark experiences from two different countries and their journeys as career returners after welcoming a child to their family. It was relatable and heartbreaking and anger-inducing. It was everything we hear and see from other caregivers. It was part of MY experience as well.

My Little asked me why I was crying. I shared a little with Oz about why. We talked about flying and how many caregivers find it hard to do what they love and take care of their families. Confused, he said: “Aren’t we all braver when we support each other?” – “Yes. Yes, Oz, we are."

A little later, at home, he comes bounding into my bedroom. He's carrying a red airplane he just made with his new 3D printing pen. He says, "Momma, It's Amelia Earhart's airplane! The Little Red Bus. A brave pilot that loved to fly as you do, Mumma. It takes a village." "Yes. Yes, Oz, it does."

Oz's perfect replica of Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Vega

If children understand these concepts, then where do we lose them? Where do we move away from the village we need?

2D and 3D Vega replicas. By Oz. Multiple mediums. 2021.

Belonging is one's physical, emotional, and psychological safety, the indescribable feeling of being welcome. And if a caregiver does not feel that way at work or in their career, they can’t possibly contribute in a meaningful way.

Caregiving is not an exception – It's integration. And it's not going anywhere. Trust me, I've tried!

On the heels of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, we are flooded with data. Statistics of how the pandemic has affected women and caregivers are measured. We know there are many barriers to gender parity and that our caregiving responsibilities are increasing. Our population is aging, we are living longer, and our philosophies on family structure have queued assimilation of home and profession.

Cultural predications and social policy have primarily affected the way we think about human capital. Yet it’s the stories of the caregivers that I’ve listened to, read about, shared out loud since the inception of Hera Aviation Group that has kept me focused and determined to disrupt aviation's status quo – and make things better.

I often wonder: Do we think of caregiving as a provisional commitment requiring a finite adjustment to our work responsibilities?

An event that forever changes our lifestyle is given a few weeks of adjustment, often without compensation or any relief.

Stockholm and Seattle. Both women struggled but both families did not adjust equally. One woman was supported throughout it all, in EVERY way we have been advocating for through Hera Aviation Group. I was so encouraged to read that it’s embraceable! Global accountability and social policy move mountains! We can get there too.

Jessica Webster

Founder & President

Jessica is a mom, partner, pilot, and the Founder & President of Hera Aviation Group. She enjoys long flights in Class A Airspace interacting with one ATC at a time.

She also loves to laugh with her grandmother, watch reality TV, dance with her Littles, drink a Starbucks that has a ridiculously long drink order, and shop for really cool trainers.

She loves the sky but her truly happy place is on the water.

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