Balancing work with parenting duties can be a struggle. To understand more about the challenges working mothers face, and how employers can best support them, we asked over 150+ working mothers with children about their preferences.
Given the novel coronavirus pandemic, many working mothers are effectively working four jobs: their corporate job, caring for their children, homeschooling and completing housework. Our research finds that prior to COVID, just 5% of corporate mothers were the primary caregiver to their children - that number now jumps to 62%!
Here’s what employers can do to help keep and develop women in the workforce:
Flexibility is the new currency.
Parenting can be unpredictable and often trying on working mothers, who tend to bear the greatest burden when schools are closed and when faced with illness. In our survey, 46% of working mothers asserted that greater flexibility would offer the support needed to balance work and family. Flexible working is one way that employers can help alleviate the pressure and uncertainty that comes with being a primary caregiver. Flex-time - such as four-day work weeks or alternative hours - allows working mothers to tend to their children and at-home activities without impacting productivity at work.
Adjust expectations to help balance work-family.
It’s important for employers to ask, “Are working mothers able to fit their work responsibilities around other demands?” 26% of corporate mothers want expectations adjusted by employers, given current conditions. These adjustments included extended project deadlines, less meetings and less work hours. Again, this allows more freedom for working mothers to balance work responsibilities with seeing more of their children, which ultimately will make them more fulfilled in and out of the office.
Lead with empathy.
49% of working mothers cited their primary concern to be the care of their child’s needs. This concern is followed by work/home demands (48%) and loss of income (19%). With these concerns weighing on everyone’s mind, employers can make a concerted effort to communicate regularly and transparently about their policies and plans of action.
Aneuvia is proud to work with C-suite and Board members of corporations to evaluate and refine diversity and inclusion programs and policies that not only strengthen workforce engagement, but also deliver financial results.
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View full results from Impact of COVID-19 on Corporate Mothers.