Despite all that women have gained in the workplace over the years, many moms still experience biases and unfair judgments solely because they chose to have children. Yet studies show that moms are good hires, make better bosses, and help their kids become more successful.
It’s time to start empowering moms in the workplace, and companies can do that by following these six suggestions.
1. Ensure The Management Team Includes Moms
When moms hold leadership roles within the company, other mothers see that their talents are appreciated. It can help foster growth and achievement, especially for women who want to climb the ladder and eventually hold leadership positions themselves.
When companies promote both men and women, it shows employees that working moms can still succeed. It also lets women know that they won’t be viewed as inferior or incapable just because they have children.
2. Close The Pay Gap
Unfortunately, women still only earn about 80 percent of what men do. According to a National Bureau of Economic Research study, this pay discrepancy most commonly begins when women give birth to their first child. This “child penalty” causes women to consistently earn less for the remainder of their careers, even if raising children doesn’t impact their work ethic.
Companies can empower moms in the workplace by correcting this pay gap across the board. To do this, companies address salary inconsistencies between men and women who hold similar or equal roles, then correct these issues, so women receive equal wages. This will not only help moms feel more valued, but it can also help pull struggling families out of poverty.
3. Include Inclusive Spaces for Moms in the Office
Many new mothers are still nursing when they return to work after childbirth. Yet a vast majority of workplaces don’t provide adequate accommodations for breastfeeding moms. Luckily, companies like Haworth show how much Mother’s Rooms can empower new moms in the workplace.
By providing these types of spaces, companies can foster a family-friendly workplace. This, in turn, helps attract, retain, and empower working moms because they feel appreciated and seen by their employers. Ultimately, inclusive workspaces increase company productivity and let employees feel like more than just a cog in the machine.
4. Provide Opportunities for Growth
According to Forbes, men are more frequently chosen to oversee projects or participate in potential growth opportunities than women, especially if those women are mothers. Women typically need large amounts of proven experience before receiving these opportunities, whereas men get them based on their assumed potential.
Workplaces can change this by providing more opportunities for working moms. For example, when a new project starts, consider offering it to a woman you think would lead it well. Or, the next time a chance for training or growth presents itself, see what women on the team may be interested in it. By providing opportunities for growth to moms, you help empower them to reach their full potential.
5. Offer Fair Parental Leave
Although parental leave remains a hot topic in many parts of the world, companies have done very little to prioritize changes in their paid or unpaid leave options. However, companies can significantly empower women and stand out from other companies by simply offering better work-life balance for new parents — and this balance starts with better options for paid maternity and paternity leave.
A fair established parental leave policy can help women recover from childbirth and return to work healthy and ready. This allows women to feel like they don’t need to choose between parenthood and their career, which can ultimately help empower moms within the workplace.
6. Create A Flexible Work Environment
Moms juggle so many things between their work life and home. In many cases, women are fully capable of handling both — assuming they’re given the tools they require. Luckily, companies can help with this by offering a flexible work environment.
Workplace flexibility can look very different depending on the type of work, but ultimately it all boils down to one thing: a formable employer. Whether you offer flexibility in a mom’s working hours, the option to work from home periodically, or a focus on quality over quantity, any sort of flexible work environment helps. By showing women you care about their needs and value them, you can help empower moms to continue juggling their work and home lives in a way that works best for them.
Empowerment in the workplace is critical for a company’s success. By helping moms feel empowered in the workplace, you can ultimately help yourself and future generations.
Previously Published on Moms.com