It’s no secret that the pandemic has disrupted life as we know it. For working mothers, the disruption has been monumental. Suddenly working moms were forced to juggle daycare and school closings, virtual learning and quarantines, on top of changing work demands and crushing uncertainty. Women’s wellbeing has dramatically suffered, so it is not surprising that over 2 million women have left the workforce since the pandemic began. According to Gallup, women’s paid labor is worth $7.6 trillion to America’s GDP each year. Just think of all the unpaid labor that moms do on top of that! So how can employers keep their working moms from leaving?
1 – Offer Lifestyle Benefits
Affordable health insurance coverage is a basic expectation from working moms and most employees, in general. To give your company a competitive edge, consider offering lifestyle benefits that improve your employees’ quality of life. Many of these perks are cost-effective for employers and positively impact employee engagement and company culture. Lifestyle benefits may include health and wellness programs, such as an on-site gym or a paid gym membership, on-site cafeteria, stress management/counseling services, employee assistance programs, tuition reimbursement, and corporate discounts. The key is to find out what your employees need and get creative! Offering unique lifestyle benefits encourages working mothers to take care of themselves and makes them feel more supported in the workplace.
2 – Cultivate a Healthy Work-Life Balance
Work-life balance and flexibility are among the most important factors a job candidate considers before accepting a position. Sixty percent of women rate greater work-life balance and better personal well-being as “very important” in a new job. For working mothers, these things are paramount. They can be the key to unlocking their ability to thrive in their careers while also raising a family. Employers can provide workplace flexibility by allowing remote work, flexible arrival and departure times, choice of work shifts, staggered or compressed work weeks, etc. Flexibility is not limited to remote work. Get creative in providing meaningful flexibility where it works, like creating policies with personal time and family leave support. By providing a healthy work-life balance for your employees, you can build trust and a committed workforce that is even more productive.
3 – Provide a Clear Path and Purpose
Money definitely matters, but it is not the only thing that motivates women who work. Women care deeply about doing work that matters to them and gives them a sense of purpose. There are 8,760 hours in a year, and each one is valuable to a working woman, especially a working mother. Gallup research found that 54% of working mothers would rather stay home to care for children if given the choice. Every hour spent away from caretaking must be worthwhile. Employers should communicate and demonstrate their values and mission frequently to increase connectedness. Allow women to see how they fit into the bigger picture. Provide them with a clear path to develop their professional lives and support them along the way. As a result, their engagement and loyalty in the workplace will grow.
Working mothers make up about a third of all employed women, and they bring incredible value to the labor force. Employers must adapt and be intentional in creating workplace strategies that allow working mothers to not just stay in the workforce, but to truly thrive. These are only a few ways employers can recruit and retain working moms to build a more committed and engaged workforce. HTI’s Workplace Strategies division can help you find out what working moms at your company really want.
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