How Employers Can Recruit (and Retain) Working Mothers
Rachael Ellison | MonsterThinking
March 08, 2011
To start us off, here are four strong suggestions that can have a major impact on the professional outlook for working mothers and their employers.
1. Let’s Dump Unhelpful Phrases like “Mommy Track” or “On-Ramping and Off-Ramping.”
Yes, employees make decisions about when—and if—they take time off to be with their kids. Employees also decide to go back to school while working, or to take care of an elderly parent: this doesn’t mean they are not committed to their work. It means that, like all of us, they are balancing their personal and professional needs.
As this study by Working Mother Media illustrates, if a mom chooses to be at work, he or she wants to be respected and valued. Parents don’t want to be pushed off to the side, or given less engaging assignments.
2. This Is Not Just A Woman’s Issue.
It is vital that employers regard this as a company challenge—important for all individuals and for the health of the organization—not only an issue for female employees. Paternity leave and flextime are often not as readily available to men, and men don’t feel as comfortable taking it. Companies should encourage male employees to engage in the work-life conversation.
If we level the expectations for both genders, we will not have such an insurmountable disparity in the opportunities available to men and women. This TED talk by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg offers a powerful perspective on leveling the playing field.