National survey explores what mothering and leadership skills have in common

Mums took the lead at Yettel for one day

Decisiveness, conflict management, problem-solving skills and empathy: these are the main leadership qualities that Hungarians consider essential for mothers, according to a recent national survey on Mother’s Day by Yettel. The mobile operator compared leadership skills with motherhood skills, and found that eight out of ten respondents believe the skills they acquired while raising children can be put to good use at the workplace.

On the occasion of Mother’s Day, a national, representative survey[1] was conducted by Yettel to find out what Hungarians consider to be the most important leadership skills that can be useful during motherhood, and how the tasks related to these qualities are shared in the family.
The research showed that although parents in Hungary equally make financial decisions, the picture is much more nuanced when it comes to the organisation and logistics of everyday life, such as paying bills, shopping, organising family events and gatherings with friends. In these matters, women tend to feel that they have more responsibility. Interestingly, in households with at least one child still living at home, almost half of the women surveyed feel that they are the main coordinators of these activities. Only 5% of women see men as being responsible for day-to-day tasks and less than a third (29%) said that they coordinate these tasks with their partner.
In contrast, almost a quarter of male respondents (23%) feel that they are in charge of organising their daily life, and only 15% of them think that mothers decide on these issues. More than half of men say that they and women share the day-to-day running of the family. This contradiction was also observed when respondents were asked what role they think mothers have in everyday decisions in Hungary. While half of the women believe that organisational decisions are more the responsibility of the mother, almost half of the men think that this is more of a shared responsibility.
Empathy is important not only for mothers, but also for leaders
The survey also looked at the most important leadership and mothering skills. A high proportion of respondents (70%) identified decisiveness as one of the most important leadership skills. The next five skills were equally shared by about half of the respondents: organisational skills (53%), conflict management (51%), communication skills (51%), problem-solving skills (45%) and empathy (40%). Interestingly, the latter is considered an essential leadership skill mostly by women (women: 44%, men: 36%).
For mothers, empathy is the most important quality (73%), followed by flexibility and problem-solving skills (48-48%). Nearly half of respondents also consider conflict management (47%), reliability (46%), decisiveness and decision-making skills (45%) to be important. Although there are differences in the proportions, respondents found that there are several leadership qualities that are also essential for mothers: decisiveness and decision-making, conflict management, problem-solving skills and empathy are all identified as important skills. It is also interesting that maternal empathy is considered to be the most important by 16-19 year olds compared to other age groups (83%), but the same age group considers leadership empathy less important compared to the overall sample (26%).

Skills learned in raising children can be put to good use at work

Eight out of ten respondents said that the skills they acquired while raising children can be put to good use at the workplace. “Both mothers and managers have to deal with and manage many tasks at the same time, often taking responsibility for their decisions. We believe that the skills acquired while raising children can also be valuable at the workplace, which is why we pay special attention to mothers returning from maternity leave, who, due to their life situation, require particular flexibility in working hours, but sometimes outperform their colleagues in terms of work organisation and efficiency in return. We are continuously striving to create a more family-friendly workplace, supported by the introduction of paternity leave in 2021 and grandparental leave in 2023 “, said Enikő Szalai, Chief HR Officer of Yettel Hungary.
Last year, Yettel organised its first Mother’s Day event when employees invited their mothers to visit the mobile operator’s HQ in Törökbálint. Encouraged by its great success, this program was held again this year. This time the mothers had the chance to fill a leadership position for a day. They could decide, for example, whether Yettel should continue to expand its 5G network, or whether to implement a uniform or differentiated pay rise in the future. They also had the chance to give their views on the future of a currently vacant shop and a complex legal case involving a subscriber.

For the video of the event please visit:

[1] The survey was conducted on a sample of 1,064 people in collaboration with the Opinio Market Research app in April 2024. The sample is representative of the Hungarian population aged 16-59 by gender, age, education, type and geographic location of settlement.