International Women’s Day: empowering working mums to balance career and family
06 March 2020
More and more mothers are making the decision to go back to work after having children. Whether it’s due to career ambition or financial necessity, mothers are taking up more of the workforce than ever before.
Unfortunately, there can be a lot of pressure on working mums not to let their children affect their work, whilst also not letting their work affect their families. This unrealistic catch 22 is making it difficult for women to continue the careers they worked so hard for, and offers them an unfair disadvantage against men who don’t face this problem nearly as much
This International Women’s Day, we’re talking about some of the ways employers can empower their female workforce to balance their career and families effectively.
Help mums let go of the guilt
Guilt plays a huge factor in a mother’s decision to continue their careers. If they work full time, they feel guilty they’re not at home. If they stay home full time, they feel guilty they’re letting themselves down.
It’s so important for women to feel empowered to make the right decision for their families. There is no right or wrong answer – each mother must do what they feel is best for them, their children and their circumstances.
As employers, ensuring your working mums know just how integral they are to the team can help them let go of some of that guilt they might be feeling. If they know how important their work is, they can focus their energy on the positive aspects their career brings to their family, rather than dwelling on the fact they are not at home.
Open communication between your staff and management
In order to offer suitable and effective support for your staff, the most important thing you can do is listen to them.
Opening the communication between working mothers and their management is the first step to helping them juggle their careers with their new family dynamic. If your staff know they can speak freely about their issues and be truly understood, then they’re less likely to feel stressed.
Remember that it’s impossible for a family not to impact a mother’s work from time to time, so try to be an understanding employer. If your staff know they can talk to their managers and feel listened to and appreciated, then that brings them one step closer to a more balanced life.
Consider offering flexible schedules
Flexible working has become an important part of work culture in recent years – with many companies focusing on the quality of work being produced, rather than the time and place it was done.
Offering your working mothers flexible schedules could be the most effective step you take. This could include the option to work from home, adjusting work hours around childcare or the school run, or just understanding the occasional break that a parent might need to look after their child.
Flexibility is becoming more and more important to all staff, not just working parents. So the more you embrace this concept, the more benefits there will be for you as an employer as well. Increased staff retention and loyalty and better employee morale are just a couple of the advantages.
Encourage professional development
Many women face the unfair narrative that if they choose to have a family, they won’t be as committed to their careers.
Many women also fear that they won’t be taken seriously after having children, or that their career development will be put on the side lines in favour of younger, child-free employees.
As employers, it’s important to make sure all your staff have clear and detailed career paths. Encourage everyone to take part in training and development to enhance their careers equally, and never assume someone won’t be interested because they are focusing on their families.
Ultimately, it’s down to you as an employer to find out how best you can support the working mothers on your staff. It may take some trial and error to figure out what works best for everyone, and you should remember that not all women will have the same needs and requirements as others.
The most important thing is to stay committed to empowering your female staff to balance their career and family effectively if they decide to have children.
Vivup makes it easy for employers to take a different approach to employee benefits by focusing on physical, financial and mental health wellbeing and the benefits to both employees and employers. From resilience training and mental health awareness training to stress management.
Contact a Vivup Account Manager for further information on 01252 784 541 or email [email protected].
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