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Revolent: 5 effective ways employers empower mothers in the workplace

Category: inclusive workplace, Flexible Working, Workplace Inclusion, Parental Leave, Working Flexibly, Working mother, Inclusive and flexible workplace culture, Parents and Career, Revolent

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It’s hard to argue against the difficulty of being a working parent and having a full-time job. There’s plenty of responsibilities to juggle, schedules to manage, and balances to strike—especially for mothers, who despite fathers increasingly taking on parenting responsibilities, remain the primary caretakers, particularly in the child’s early years.

This means that without adequate support, motherhood remains one of the greatest hurdles women face in the workplace, particularly when trying to advance their careers. And, although a lot has been done to support mothers in the workplace, the stats around this topic tell us that there’s still a long way to go before we can call for celebrations. 

 

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Studies show that about a quarter of working moms turned down a promotion because they were balancing their work and parenting responsibilities, and women who took just one year off work earned 39% less than women who did not. And the COVID-19 pandemic has made matters worse for women in the workplace too. The New York Times found that out of the 1.2 million American parents who have had to leave the workforce in the past year, 900,000 were women—making women three times as likely as men to have left their jobs. Out of the women who remained in the workforce, 57% said they were feeling more burned out at work due to the pandemic. 

If you're a working mom on the lookout for a new job, it's crucial that you not only assess an employer's salary package and benefits the role offers, but also the policies they have in place to support working mothers to avoid burnout long-term and strike a good work/life balance. So, what are the tell-tale signs that an employer is supporting mothers in the workplace? 
 

  • They offer flexibility 

Implementing flexible working arrangements like flextime, or hybrid and remote working policies can give working mothers the right environment to juggle both their work and personal lives. The traditional and rigid 9–5 setup offers little to no wiggle-room for working parents, particularly when it comes to managing commitments like school pickups and drop-offs, and sick days without biting into their annual leave. 
Flexibility is also key for parents to be able to manage their free time and achieve a healthier work-life balance, which is crucial for avoiding burnout. With the possibility to work from wherever and whenever, mothers can optimize their working days according to their needs, and not vice-versa. 
 

  • A formalized parental leave policy 

Having a parental leave policy written down on paper often means employers are prioritizing offering ample time for mothers to recover and take care of their newborns, while ensuring that they can come back at the end of it. And, although the number of weeks might vary from one country to the next, forward-looking companies have implemented substantial changes to their parental leave policy and are already reaping the benefits. For instance, in recent years, Google saw the rate at which new mothers quit drop by half once it extended its leave policy from 12 to 18 weeks in the US. Similarly, Accenture saw its turnover rate for new mothers fall by 40% once it doubled its leave policy from 8 weeks to 16 in the US too.  
   

  • A family-friendly workplace

From childcare solutions to an adequate and private lactation space, to providing sanitary products, there’s a lot that workplaces can do to make sure they cater to mothers once they return to the office. Creating a family-friendly workplace is a way of telling the mothers in your team they’re being supported, appreciated and valued in this new phase of their lives.

Providing employees with opportunities to share advice and experiences is another way of showing support for working parents. That’s why we, at Revolent, launched our Family Matters initiative in 2020. This program allows our employees to enroll in our parent buddy system to receive additional support and guidance from other parents while balancing their careers and family life. 

Perks and benefits are an often overlooked, yet crucial element of a family-friendly workplace. Not only are these incentives essential to making the workplace more fun, and achieving an improved work-life balance, but they’re also a massive driver to hit KPIs. And while nights out, all-day team-building socials and travel schemes might be enticing to those without any childcare responsibilities, businesses offering different reward options that cover the diverse needs across the organization, are usually the ones fostering a family-friendly workplace in practice, and not only on paper.  
   

  • Constructive efforts to close the pay gap 

Most industries are still riddled with a notorious gap between what women earn compared to men. The latest Mason Frank Career and Hiring Guide shows that, for instance, only 52% of those within one of the largest tech ecosystems, Salesforce, say they believe their employer pays men and women equally.
Ensuring that an organization is paying all workers equally, irrespective of their gender, is crucial when looking for an inclusive employer. Not only is this the fair thing to do but it’s often an indicator of a healthy business and company culture, especially when it comes to empowering parents in the workplace. 
Whether you’re looking for a new employer, or re-evaluating your current one, working for a business that champions equal rights at all levels is crucial to feeling valued and empowered. Plus, it avoids any consequences associated with being underpaid, such as the damaging effects on a mother’s well-being and self-confidence, as well as long-term effects like damage to professional goals and ambitions too, including that of having a promising career. 
 

  • Diversity and inclusion championed at all levels

A diverse workforce, one that fosters inclusivity at all levels of business is an essential part of empowering mothers in the workplace. That, together with promotions, plays a fundamental part in representation. A study around Women in the Workplace by management consulting company, McKinsey & Company showed that although women tend to hold more bachelor’s degrees than men, they’re still less likely to be hired for entry-level jobs. And the further up the hierarchy, the wider this disparity. The same study also revealed that, for every 100 men, only 79 women in the company are promoted to managers, eventually leading to women holding only 38% of managerial positions.  

This is incredibly worrying for women and mothers around the world. Better support from managers and distinct development plans can help stem the so-called ‘leaky pipeline’ to female career progression. Plus, more representation in leadership roles within the companies not only motivates and empowers the person in that position, but it’s also likely to inspire other women and mothers across the business, too—making them feel more included in the business, while reinforcing their potential. 

 

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This is something we strongly believe in at Revolent, and we’re extremely proud of the support we offer to our diverse team. In fact, 56% of our leadership team are either working parents or carers, and 67% of our senior management team are women, not only strengthening representation across all levels of our business, but also supporting all employees to thrive in their professional role with us. 

Supporting women during this already-challenging period in their lives is essential to reach true equality and finally close the infamous gender gap. This is something Revolent is deeply committed to as we want to make tech accessible to everyone, and empower more diverse talent into the ecosystem, bringing new perspectives and experiences along with necessary tech skills.

 

Find out more about working at Revolent

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email [email protected] for more information.

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