Being a working mother has always come with challenges. But in the last few years, as the pandemic and economic uncertainty affected women disproportionately more than men, those challenges have risen to another level, driving many women out of the workforce or away from leadership positions in what experts call a “Mom-cession.”
Companies need the valuable and unique contributions of women, especially mothers. And moms need more support than ever.
This Mother’s Day, let’s celebrate women and mothers with our actions as much as our words and give them much-needed support to thrive.
ROI of Supporting Women and Working Moms
Working mothers carry much of the emotional and logistical weight of managing their careers and families. If companies truly want to support all aspects of their employees’ lives and allow them to give their best work, they must invest in tools and resources to support women.
Working mothers are incredible, and investments in supporting them multiply into tremendous returns.
Providing resources that improve gender equality, such as flexible work schedules, child care, fertility coverage, and mental health resources, can add an estimated $13 trillion to the global GDP in 2030.
When companies provide child care for employees, absences decrease by 30%, and job turnover declines by up to 60%. According to research from KPMG, having more women at work delivers “better returns with lower volatility.” Companies with a strong track record and emphasis on gender issues are 15% more likely to have higher earnings than their peers.
Prioritizing benefits and resources for mothers helps attract and retain the best talent. Working parents rank child care benefits as a top priority. Child care concerns are the most common reason for many working women leaving the workforce or reducing their hours.
How companies treat women as they embark on their motherhood journeys sets the tone for the rest of their careers and determines if she wants to stay at her job or even in the workforce. Female labor force participation hit a 33-year low in 2021.
Companies that Support Moms
It’s not all doom and gloom. Many companies are adopting benefits and resources to create positive workplace experiences for women and mothers. They are setting the bar high for other companies to follow.
Hormel recently broke ground on a $5 million on-site child care center to address employee demand. The company realizes the best way to support its working parents is to support their children. “You don’t have a workforce if you don’t have child care that they’re able to rely on,” said Hormel’s manager of HR business partners Angie Bissen.
UKG cares so much for families that it even has a name for employee children (Future U Krewers) and sends care packages to new parents. But the support continues long past the newborn stage. Aside from paid parental leave and adoption and surrogacy reimbursements, UKG provides a scholarship program for employees’ children, a stipend for extracurricular activities and child care, access to online tutoring, and more.
Hilton has an in-house concierge service to help new and expecting parents as they plan, take, and return from parental leave to ensure they can access all the benefits and resources they need, including shipping breast milk for new moms who have to travel for work. Hilton also provides unique virtual training programs for new working parents and their managers on supporting their teams and adjusting to a new phase of life.
Patagonia has a staggering 95% retention of moms because of its incredible benefits and support programs. The company offers on-site child care and after-school pickup programs for employees’ children and a culture that fully supports working parents, even mothers nursing their babies during meetings. And the family support pays off—at least 25 children who went through the child care program now work for Patagonia as adults.
Working mothers can be just that: both workers and mothers. But they need support from their companies and leaders as they balance two demanding roles. With the proper support and investment, working mothers can change organizations and raise the next generation.
Blake Morgan is a customer experience futurist and the author of The Customer Of The Future. Sign up for her weekly email here.