The Benefits Working Moms are Getting From Top Employers

When it comes to supporting working parents, the United States is still falling far behind other nations. Even under new legislation, new mothers are still only entitled to less than three weeks of paid leave following delivery; as for paid paternity leave, the U.S. is the only wealthy country that doesn’t offer it at all to new fathers. At Facebook, employees are offered up to four months of paid parental leave following the birth of a child, and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg made waves in 2015 when he announced he would be taking two full months of paid paternity leave, unheard of in the American work force.

From a global perspective, we’re miles behind where we ought to be; however, tech companies are now working to bridge that gap and offer more parental leave for new parents. Working Mother has recently released their 32nd-annual list of the top 100 companies with the best benefits, and the results are telling.

The support that’s being offered to working parents now extends far beyond initial post-delivery care and is helping parents, especially those in high-pressure jobs, manage both their family life and their work life. Several companies at the forefront of the top 100 are offering additional services including support for parents with autism (88% of the top 100), gradually letting new mothers phase back into work (70%), college coaching for high schoolers (63%), and even support for homework (25%).

Companies are also offering more resources to parents for childcare. 92% of the top 100 offer daycare and backup care options or compensation for them during busy times like summer and school holidays.

The most competitive companies are looking for highly skilled employees and, in order to attract them, offering great benefits that extend to not only the employee but their family as well. Subha Barry, senior vice president & managing director of Working Mother Media, discussed how delving deeper and identifying parental needs that extend beyond initial maternity/paternity leave. She notes that businesses are now acknowledging the value of employee retention and are adopting the mindset: “I will pay more, have less in my bottom line, but I will keep my employees.”

The change is also elicited, in part, by the demands of highly skilled millennials. In 2017, approximately a third of companies in the United States expanded their benefit offerings, citing the ‘war for talent’ as the primary factor, according to the 2017 Society for Human Resource Management.

Why Mothers Make Better Entrepreneurs

People often talk about how difficult it is to start and run your own business. Entrepreneurs work long, hard hours, often for little recognition. They need to be able to multi-task and juggle numerous projects at once as they build their business and help it grow. Do you know who else does all of that on a daily basis? Mothers.

Mothers make excellent entrepreneurs, and this is more than just an opinion. The Kauffman Foundation released studies that show that venture-backed businesses with a woman in charge create 12% more revenue and are more resilient to market and financial crises. The skills that are necessary in entrepreneurship are many of the same ones crucial for successfully navigating motherhood: just take a look for yourself.

Mothers know how to prioritize

When you’re trying to coordinate the educational and extracurricular calendars of three children who are all involved in different activities on top of finding time to cook, clean, and have a whole professional career to boot, you need to learn which things to prioritize and which ones can be put off until later.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: Juggling responsibilities is like spinning plates; some plates, the important ones like family, health, loved ones, and self-care, are delicate and need the most attention to make sure they don’t break. Then, from there, you prioritize down and eliminate or delegate whichever tasks you won’t have time for. And speaking of delegation…

Mothers know how to delegate

Any mother will tell you that if you try taking on too much at once you’ll end up with more of a mess on your hands than when you started, which is why delegation is such a crucial skill to have in your arsenal. Things like assigning chores and having children take on some responsibility around the house can go a long way in the vein of helping you stay organized and making sure everything gets done.

Mothers know how to inspire a team and motivate others

By default, mothers are constantly in ‘sales’ mode. Whether it’s trying to convince a messy toddler that they want to take a bath or convincing your teenager that they need to go to school, you’re put in the position of salesperson quite often. When it comes time to sell your clients on signing a contract or convince them to stay with your business, you’ve already got the experience you need to help you navigate your pitch effectively.

A Fine Tuned Work-Life Balance Helps Working Mothers Immensely

The task of raising children while also maintaining a work-life balance requires some coordination and planning. When both parents are working on building careers while also splitting parenting responsibilities, a work-life balance is incredibly important to make sure that you aren’t letting the most important plates fall while you’re busy spinning the less important ones.

Fine Tuning:

Let’s say you’re looking at your schedule for the coming week and you notice on Thursday that you have to stay late for a meeting, your one child has soccer practice, your other has piano lessons, and your partner is leaving for a business trip later that night. Are you going to just ‘wing it’ and assume that things will fall into place, or will take the time to plan out the evening so things can run smoothly?

There is always an element of fine tuning to maintain that balance between professional and domestic lifestyle; this helps to keep things from falling apart in moments when your schedules are tight and detailed planning is necessary for a smooth execution.

Plan out meals ahead of time.

Each weekend, plan out your dinners for the week and prepare anything that you can ahead of time.

Make double dinners.

If you’re cooking a recipe that can easily be frozen, reheated later, and served again, make a double batch of whatever it is and freeze half for another time. This way you get double the cooking done at once while using half the time.

Make a list and shop once a week.

A lot of time is wasted running to and from the store every time you need to grab something. Free up your schedule a bit by making a list of all of the things that you need to get at the store and do one big trip all at once to get everything. The twenty minutes here and twenty minutes there that you spend running to places adds up to time that would be better spent doing other things.

Don’t forget the ABC rule.

The ABC rule – Always Be Cleaning – can save you a LOT of time in the long run when you simply straighten up as you go. Embrace this idea wholeheartedly  and instill it in the rest of your family, teaching them to pick up after themselves so you don’t have to take a 2 hour chunk out of your day to do all of the cleaning.