"I'm sorry to all the mothers I worked with."

This working mom could probably save time by upgrading that laptop. (stock photo)

Katharine Zaleski is the president of PowerToFly, a company that connects women with tech jobs that give them the freedom to work remotely. The company seeks to change the male-driven corporate culture that values facetime in the office over flexibility, especially for working mothers.

But Zaleski wasn't always so in tune with the challenges of being a working mom.

In a column for Fortune, she recalls with embarrassment the times she prematurely judged a mom's work ethic. She lists the mistakes she made:

  • I secretly rolled my eyes at a mother who couldn't make it to last minute drinks with me and my team. I questioned her “commitment" even though she arrived two hours earlier to work than me and my hungover colleagues the next day.
  • I didn't disagree when another female editor said we should hurry up and fire another woman before she “got pregnant."
  • I sat in a job interview where a male boss grilled a mother of three and asked her, “How in the world are you going to be able to commit to this job and all your kids at the same time?" I didn't give her any visual encouragement when the mother – who was a top cable news producer at the time – looked at him and said, “Believe it or not, I like being away from my kids during the workday… just like you."
  • I scheduled last minute meetings at 4:30pm all of the time. It didn't dawn on me that parents might need to pick up their kids at daycare. I was obsessed with the idea of showing my commitment to the job by staying in the office “late" even though I wouldn't start working until 10:30 am while parents would come in at 8:30 am.
  • Sources: Fortune