It is imperative for successful businesses to hire the best talent available. In light of the fact that 47% of U.S. workers are women, it is imperative that companies develop policies and cultures that support working women. COVID-19 makes this even more important, since more than one in four working women's might reduce their hours or quit their jobs.
What are the benefits of hiring working women for businesses? Prioritization, multitasking, communication, negotiation, and organisation are common skills among women. In addition to being resilient and adaptable, they are great at dealing with distractions and a lack of sleep, and know how to juggle multiple tasks at once.
Hiring working women helps create a more diverse team, offers new perspectives that drive innovation, and models and promotes flexible working practices in the workplace
12 ways to attract and support working mothers
Working women can contribute to the success of your company if you create a supportive work environment for them. The following are 12 steps you can take to achieve that:
1. Workforce knowledge
It is important to gather relevant data before launching a support program for working women. Find out where your organisation has the highest concentration of womens. Is there a working woman in a leadership role in your organisation, or could that be an area that needs improvement? Keep an eye on your working parents' retention rates and take note of any patterns.
2. Identify the demographics
Identifying working parents in your workforce is the first step to defining your demographic. Depending on the stage of their parenting journey, parents will have different parenting needs since parenting is often an 18-year commitment. Your organisation's programs should target all working women, whether they are pregnant or have children in high school.
It is common for some organizations to encourage employees to use their personal days to take care of their family's needs as well as their own. It is a great way to show your support for working parents and send a more inclusive message to your employees.
3. Invest resources in transitional points
Providing support during transition points, like welcoming a new child, managing a change in schedule or role, or returning from parental leave, can keep employees focused. As a result, many companies offer benefits and programming to address these points, such as a phase-back parental leave system designed to ease the transition back to work for women.
4. Make accommodations available to new mothers
Supporting new mothers is an important part of building a company culture. It's a good idea to provide nursing mothers with a designated space to breastfeed and pump, even if it is not required by law. The best way to do this is to provide a comfortable chair, a private, quiet space and towels in addition to a locked door.
In some organizations, working mothers can even use private refrigerators exclusively for breast milk, which further contributes to their feeling included, welcomed and comfortable at work.
5. Working womens may be attracted to certain benefits
Your organization can attract new talent by providing parental benefits like paid maternity leave, child care assistance (e.g., reimbursements for child care fees, backup childcare) or an on-site childcare service.
Several companies offer increased flexibility in work schedules to accommodate not only working mothers, but also their entire workforce. Flexible work options are available that are suitable for parents, including the ability to work from home a few days a week, staggered or compressed work weeks, or unlimited PTO.
6. Resources for working women should be advertised
The majority of companies have an employee benefit program that supports working women, such as an employee assistance program (EAP). In some cases, employees are unaware these programs exist or aren't aware of their benefits.
You should make sure that all employees are aware of the benefits you offer. It may be easier to provide employees with information about their benefits by establishing a single, accessible website or intranet.
7. Keep in touch
Maintaining an open line of communication and discussing the changing needs of working women with supervisors or human resources are some of the easiest ways a company can support working women. You should be empathetic, compassionate, and understanding of the challenges working women face. You can support them in a variety of ways by asking them how they are feeling, what they need, and what you can do for them.
It is also important to categorize communications that are sent outside of business hours to promote work/life balance.
8. Prepare a guide for parental leave
A parental leave handbook is a simple way to clarify what you expect as an employer and make sure your expecting mothers have everything they need to make the most of their maternity leave. You might benefit from the opinion and guidance of other moms who are also leaders in your organization. It is helpful for women to know what to expect while they are away from the workplace and how to transition back into it easier after they return.
9. Information collection
Make sure you measure the effectiveness of any new initiatives before and after they are launched. Make sure your employees are taking advantage of their vacation time and family leave time, and that your retention rate is high.
10. Ensure consistency
You should make sure that all of your employees are following the same policies. If you are a working woman, for example, your manager may be very accommodating to your needs or you may have negotiated special benefits when you were hired. You can, however, send the wrong message to the rest of your workforce if you do this. Maintaining and enforcing consistent policies for all your employees will demonstrate your support for them. Employees with or without children might also benefit from the same level of schedule flexibility and time off.
11. Create a visible example
Working women can be supported by leaders who set an example of balancing family and work. Managers can send a message to their team that work/life balance can be achieved by placing family photos on their desks and discussing their family life outside the workplace openly. Working women may feel less alone if vulnerable leadership is exhibited and these conversations are normalized.
12. Develop a mentorship program
Connect new or expecting mothers with moms in leadership positions through a mentorship program. Parents who receive this support will be able to build their confidence as they navigate their new roles as parents.
It can help your company retain top talent and attract qualified women, as well as improve morale and productivity among all moms at work. Your company can also become more innovative, competitive and successful by having a diverse, inclusive workforce.