Celebrating Mother’s Day: Toyota Employees Reflect on the Best Advice From Their Moms, Their Joys as Parents and More

Celebrating Mother’s Day: Toyota Employees Reflect on the Best Advice From Their Moms, Their Joys as Parents and More

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At Toyota, many employees credit their mothers, and mother figures, for being that guiding light who has impacted their lives in countless ways, including in their careers. Now, as parents, these employees know firsthand the importance and tremendous responsibility they have as they raise their own children.

Parents of Toyota, a business partnering group (BPG) at Toyota Motor North America (TMNA), supports employees who are parents with resources and educational opportunities. The organization also provides a dedicated space where they can share their experiences, get tips, and simply connect with other individuals who can relate to the highs and lows of parenting.

In addition to the insights and knowledge gained from participating in the BPG, many rely on the foundational roots their moms provided to help them navigate the unpredictable world of parenthood and become stronger and better mothers.

Mothers Know Best
Savoy Anderson, a product analyst with Toyota Financial Services (TFS), remembers the positive words and encouragement from her mother that has helped her throughout her life, career, and motherhood challenges.

“‘You have a story to tell, Little Girl, and it is your responsibility to tell it,’” Anderson fondly recalls her mother’s saying. “In that moment, I made a promise to her and to myself: to embrace my authenticity and live transparently.”

Today, the mom of four, who has worked for Toyota for 11 years, said she leans on her mother’s wise words to help her get through just about anything life throws her way.

“My mother always encouraged me. She taught me how to cook and write poetry. And today, I teach my children how to cook,” Savoy says. “My mother also told me to always be true to myself and that there’s only one me and that the world deserves to know who I was and I don’t have to be a carbon copy to anyone.”

The Mother of All Blueprints
Being a good listener encompasses empathy, compassion, and patience – qualities that many mothers possess.

Cory Hartstein, a product owner for Mobility and Fleet at TFS, says his mother was his greatest role model. She exemplified those positive character traits and more.

“My mother stayed home with her kids and was very nurturing,” he says. “I learned my patience from her and what it means to truly sacrifice for someone else. She is a very caring individual who has dedicated her life to her family and her philanthropic endeavors.”

The father of one (with one on the way) who’s been with the company for eight years credits his mother for laying the groundwork for how he lives his life personally and professionally.

The Power of Authenticity
Staying true to yourself is something that resonates with Jen Betts-Williams, a consumer lending product owner of Applications and Issuance at TMNA.

“My mom once told me that I am the only person that I will live with for the rest of my life,” she says. “I need to make choices and prioritize the things that matter most to me, and everything else comes in second.”

Betts-Williams attributes her mother’s advice to the way she manages her professional life. The 21-year TMNA veteran adds, “I think that is why I have built my career on building meaningful relationships, advocating for people and ideas and fostering an inclusive environment.”

As a mother of four, Betts-Williams’ ability to create safe spaces where people can feel free to share and express themselves is demonstrated through her children. Nothing makes her beam more than to know that her children and their pals can confide in her about life-changing decisions.

“When my two oldest (children) bring their friends over to talk to me about really tough situations they’re facing, those are some of my proudest moments as a mom,” says Betts-Williams. “It shows me that they trust that their mom is the best to come to for advice and that they want to share what they can offer to support their friends.”

It Takes a Village
Gina Aplin, an administrative assistant at TMNA, got a lesson in the importance of being a good person straight from her mom.

“‘Times change. Integrity doesn’t,’” she recalls her mother saying.

Those salient words may even be a positive influence on her 14-year-old son. One of the things Aplin admires the most about her son is his kindness and compassion. Aplin admits that raising a child is not easy, but Parents of Toyota can make the often-arduous journey smoother and less lonely.

“Building a culture that makes all feel included and supported is important, and being a parent is part of our identity,” she says. “By having BPGs like Parents of Toyota, it lets employees know how Toyota can help you personally and professionally grow in this company and as a community member.”

Building a Solid Community
Leaders with the parents’ group at Toyota says fostering an environment that thrives on connection and fellowship for parents is a top priority.

Nothing demonstrates that more than Bring Your Kid to Work Day, which is held twice a year – once in the spring and once in the fall. The bi-annual event falls under the Parents for Toyota BPG, which has nearly 1,000 members in the company.

“For each event, we host about 200 employees’ kids on campus here in Plano,” says Kristi Sampson, a senior analyst on the accessory field operations team at TMNA. “During the event, the kids get to learn all about the different aspects of Toyota and rotate through different workshops. We have over 100 volunteers from chaperones to workshop hosts.”

The event is a hit with many employees and for good reason.

“The Bring Your Kid to Work Days have by far been my favorite,” says Betts-Williams. “So much planning, collaboration, and partnership goes into making that event a success and the smiles on the children and parents’ faces are priceless.”

For Sampson, who is the Parents of Toyota co-chair, that’s what the BPG is all about.

The mom of two who’s been with the company for 18 years adds, “One of our goals is to connect employees with one another to create a community that is ‘going places together.’”

Originally posted May 10, 2024

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