Bring All of Your Identities to Work

by Carrie Kerpen

Quick Takes

  • Set the tone for your team
  • Share parts of yourself other than your work self
  • Don’t be afraid to share failures
  • Consider policies or events that build a culture of openness

For years, working parents have discussed and debated bringing our “whole self” to work, or meshing our professional identity with our personal one. Should we try to hide our pregnancies until the third trimester? Should we talk about our children at work? Should we ask for accommodations when we need to go to a parent-teacher conference or soccer game?

A Deloitte study found that 61% of employees “cover” their identities in some way and downplay parts of themselves (such as their identity as a parent) ...

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