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Riccarda Zezza

Redefining Motherhood as a Masters

Did you know that early parenting years change the plasticity of our brains and increase our ability to multi-task and empathize with others? Riccarda intuited this during her second maternity leave and was eager to return to work equipped with her newfound skills. Surely, they would be invaluable to her as a manager. Her employer did not see it that way, and like many other employers, assumed she would return a demotivated and distracted employee. This prompted Riccarda to look into the neuroscience of life transitions, and to her delight she discovered she was right.

From this point on, Riccarda was determined to help parents, caregivers and employers recognize and leverage life transitions as the most precious educational experiences one could hope for. Through her organization, Lifeed, she partners with companies’ learning & development programs to redefine parental leave as a period of intense, valuable learning and professional growth (much like a Master’s). Her Italy-based programs now reaches thousands of participants in 23 countries.


  • Redefining the value of parenting and caregiving at home and at work

  • Partnering with 80 Life Ready Companies  (Accenture, BCG, Biogen...)

  • Reaching 1000s of employees in 23 countries

  • Helping employees upskill & increase their sense of belonging at work

Interesting fact from Riccarda:

“Mothers and fathers grow people who hopefully leave them and survive them. That’s the highest level of leadership imaginable. Having more roles in life—as a parent or caregiver—makes people more resilient and effective at work. We need a new framework that views work and life together.”


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