How to champion working moms at your practice
There’s a lot to balance these days. More and more people are working remotely and are faced with juggling work and family simultaneously. For some working parents, particularly working mothers, having children can mean putting a successful career on hold or missing out on important opportunities. Employers who actively address these challenges can be more likely to retain valuable employees and have people who are motivated to do their best work. Your practice can provide an environment that helps women professionals thrive and have the support they need to manage their growing families and careers.
Retaining key personnel involves creating a culture where women and working mothers can have a successful work-life balance and grow professionally. To get started, there are many strategies you can implement to change your workplace — from open communication policies to flex schedules. Here are three helpful ideas to better support the working moms at your firm.
Encourage open communication
Unfortunately, speaking up about motherhood issues can be difficult for many women.
Keeping an open line of communication between women and their managers or HR to discuss their changing work needs as they prepare for maternity leave and returning to work, as well as other challenges working mothers face, may help women feel more confident about their job. Knowing they are supported and valued can help expecting and working mothers to better assess their workload, delegate tasks, make sure client relationships are strong and mentor anyone who will be stepping into their shoes while they are out and a smoother transition when they come back to work. Plus, they will know when they return to their position, they can continue their career progression without interruption.
Help set career paths
Being more transparent about what will lead to success — metrics and the basic timeline, in years or months — can help even the playing field and potentially break down some of the walls between male and female employees. In the same vein, review pay practices between men and women to make pay equitable will help women.
Support flexibility and work-life balance
As working remotely may become more of the norm, the separation between work life and personal life may continue to blur, even after COVID-19 is no longer in the headlines. According to Gallup, approximately 60% of American workers prefer to work remotely as much as possible, even when public health restrictions are lifted. For working moms to thrive, company policies are important, but so is being surrounded by respectful leaders, managers and co-workers.
While all employees can benefit from flexible schedules, offering flexible schedules to mothers returning from maternity leave can assist employees to better balance their work and home lives while continuing to be productive assets to your firm. Helping shape a workplace culture that champions working mothers, boosts your appeal as an employer and gives employees the tools they need to succeed. Not only will your employees benefit, but your practice will thrive as well.
Two things you can do today
- Check with your HR department about the exact terms of maternity leave.
- Consider the rubrics and characteristics your firm uses to promote employees. Ask yourself: Do your policies and procedures provide optimal support to your female employees if they choose to pursue motherhood?