Happy Mother's Day folks! While the world over we celebrate incredible mothers and the blessings that motherhood has bestowed upon us, we would like to bring into focus our attention to Moms in the Workforce. The working mother is not just a thorough professional but also a multi-tasker, juggling work and life at so many levels. We are obviously not perpetuating that mothers bear a greater responsibility for the family unit and have to sacrifice more of their careers to support the other.
What we are getting at is to support the working mother thrive at the workplace, here are a few things we would like the organizations to deliberate on in order to have a more focused inclusion framework. Why? Because there are implicit expectations that add pressure to women especially side-lining of mothers for appraisals, learning, and growth opportunities, pay parity, sponsorship, mentorship, and even promotions.
Drafting a great maternity policy is barely scratching the surface. Organizations have to consider not just giving a seat to them at the decision-making table but also a voice of empowerment.
Here are some questions that organizations need to ask themselves to ensure there is a level playing field for mothers in both ends of the spectrum: Mothers to be who will be taking a career break and mothers who are back at work from one so that they have a seamless transition back to the workplace: In no particular order:
1. Do women have equal maternity leave regardless of their location or level?
2. For Mothers returning to work, what are the additional benefits available to them like are there policies in place that allow them to work part-time, flexible work options like working from home, virtual office, etc.?
3. Is there a daycare/ off-site childcare facility?
4. What is the turnover rate of women employees, especially who are mothers over the last five year?
5. Is there a gender priority being specified at the time of workforce planning for recruitment and then succession planning for leadership roles; Are those criteria being laid out inclusive and transparent?
6. Do working mothers have competency training, self-development, and promotional opportunities?
7. How transparent are the communications channels for working mothers to continue on the development (or competencies) path, be able to give feedback, and receive feedback openly without fear or apprehension?
8. What are the inclusion strategies that allow working mothers to apply for leadership roles within the organization?
9. Are there mentorship, returnship, and sponsorship, or any other assistance programs in place for working mothers?
10. Are working mothers being encouraged to apply for roles externally? Are the organizations communicating inclusively? Are they claiming to fill quota requirements? Or do they come across as an equal opportunity employer?
11. Salary of working mothers compared to male employees? Check on pay parity etc.
What good, will asking these questions do? Well. Check. This. Infographic. Below!