Published On Mar 27, 2019 in 
Leadership & Development and PECO Culture

Phillips Edison is pleased to present Women Leaders of PECO.  Sponsored by PECO NOW (Networking Opportunity for Women), this new series of interview-style blogs are designed to spotlight some of our team’s talented and dedicated female leaders and share the outstanding contributions these women are making within the company, the industry and their communities. 
Our first Woman Leader of PECO is Emily Kendall, Associate Vice President of Marketing and Communications. Emily has 15 years of marketing experience and a passion for building relationships that deliver results. With ten years in commercial real estate, she’s been at PECO for the past six.  In 2018, she Emily participated in the Cincinnati Regional Chamber’s C-Change Leadership Program and was recognized as one of 2018’s 100 Wise Women in the Cincinnati area. She participated in PECO’s prestigious Innovation Lab program in 2015 and was a recipient of Phillips Edison’s TAE Innovation Award in 2014.

Emily is active in PECO NOW, both as a member of the Advisory Committee and leader of the Support Committee which is dedicated to providing resources and support to help women manage personal issues that can affect their careers and overall well-being.  As part of those efforts, Emily spearheaded the development of PECO NOW’s Working Parent Program in 2016. This multi-faceted initiative serves as a comprehensive resource for both new and veteran parents. We sat down with her to find out more about her work with PECO NOW, the Working Parent Program and her thoughts on being a working parent. Here’s what she had to say:
Why did you get involved in PECO NOW?
I got involved in PECO NOW because I want to advance in my career and in turn, help other women do the same. Women comprise more than 50% of the U.S. population and approximately 50% of PECO’s population. We are definitely making progress, however, when you look at leadership levels across the board in business and in government, women are still not as highly represented. That became an important mission for me, and I am excited to be a part of an organization dedicated to that cause.   
Can you tell us a little bit about the working parent initiative and what it entails?
The program includes the following:

  • PECO NOW New Parents Guide – an informative resource to help new parents welcome their first child and make the transition to and from leave.
  • Working Parents Lunches – casual lunches out for working parents with kids of all ages to share advice, stories from the trenches, and of course, laughs.
  • Support for Nursing Moms – we have expanded and enhanced the rooms available for nursing moms to use in our offices and implemented the Milk Stork program for moms whose job duties require them to be on the road.
  • Mom-to-Mom Program – the option for new moms to be paired up with someone to help them with their transition to and from leave.

What do you hope people gain from the working parent program and who can benefit from it?
Everyone can benefit from this program! New parents, veteran parents, and even managers with team members experiencing these transitions can benefit. I hope people gain support and guidance from others who are managing similar experiences. We want people to know they are not alone. Getting support from a trusted co-worker or friend is a lot better than googling “what’s this rash?” on the internet during a 2 AM feeding.
What do you think is the biggest challenge for working parents?
It ultimately boils down to guilt. You feel guilty when you have a big meeting and miss the soccer game, and when you are at the soccer game you feel guilty you are missing the big meeting (and you end up checking your phone and miss your child’s winning goal). That guilt can hold us back. Top that off with a social media culture that promotes perfect, curated lives which can put even more pressure on parents.

We have this ideal in our society to “have it all”, when it should be about having what you and your family want. Having it all just means more stuff to clean and organize! How do we break the cycle of guilt and put together the life we want for ourselves and our families?
What’s next? 
The Support Committee is excited about 2019 and looking forward to making changes that enhance the working parents program. We are also rolling out an aging parents guide.

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