The reality for women finding work after having a baby is that it’s more of a struggle than people think. And once they find a job, work integration isn’t any easier. The pandemic has also drastically changed work attitudes, with the effects of it likely to linger. Women are finding that they now need to redefine what it means to be “at work.”
Women that work for an equal and inclusive workplace build higher levels of trust, engagement, good mental health, and satisfaction. Employers should be conscious of what many women, particularly Mums, went through during the pandemic.
5 TIPS FOR EMPLOYERS
Consider giving Mums the benefits of flexible mornings and evenings, offering reduced hours during the first three to six months, allow working from home arrangements to support their lives and families. Encourage Mums to take up non-conventional roles through new policies. Updating your parental leave policy ensures that there is a plan to reintegrate new Mums into the workplace. This could include establishing a plan of gradual reintegration prior to their leave, then having check-in conversations with them as their leave comes to an end. If a plan is set in motion, it will help reduce stress and ensure a smoother transition back to work.
Respected colleagues and mentors who understand how to provide guidance and communication when it matters most will help to support the individual needs of Mums returning to work. Consider providing virtual sessions to help Mums de-stress and organise their days on topics such as mental health, meditation, healthy eating and nutrition, parenting, family and relationships, engaging kids while working from home, tax, and financial planning, etc.
Implementing a breastfeeding policy is another way for employers to support Mums in balancing home and work life. Employers should provide adequate breastfeeding facilities and resources and a work environment that supports breastfeeding.
Keeping in Touch days help employees stay up to date with their workplace, refresh their skills and assist their transition back to work after maternity leave. It can be used for on-the-job training, taking part in a planning meeting, attending a conference, or doing work familiar with your role before returning to work.
Family-friendly values and adopting a flexible and open work practice will help Mums feels safe and supported upon their return to work. Share a more open communication style with Mums and encourage community. You could implement a parent-employee group where other working parents can connect and share resources. Promote a workplace where Mums feel understood and valued for more than just their work output but for who they are.
But you don’t have to be the expert – let us support you! Through our Empathy and Self-Compassion – for Professionals and Setting Health Boundaries in the Workplace workshops, we can help empower women returning to the workplace.
Or book a free discovery call to find out how we can best support you and your team.