Why HR Needs to Focus on the Barriers Against Working Mothers
More and more women with children are juggling work and a career—yet according to Forbes, women are still taking on the majority of chores and childcare at home. Unfortunately, that can hinder their career prospects and see them passed by for promotions and salary increases. On the other hand, without working mothers taking up positions of seniority in businesses, companies may be missing out on valuable input that could inform their business strategies.
How to accommodate working mothers
HR Daily Advisor states that HR can help employers accommodate working mothers by doing the following three things:
- Making sure it’s a good fit during the interview process. Many working mothers find it uncomfortable to discuss the fact that they have children during the hiring process because they’re afraid it will negatively impact their candidacy. If HR opens the discussion and makes it clear that contributions and results are more important than attendance, as well as that they’re open to finding solutions to challenges, working mothers are likely to feel more confident and less stressed—and as a result, perform better.
- Making space for working mothers’ added responsibilities. When a mother is at work, she wants to be fully present—and not worried about her child. Moreover, her employer needs her to be on task. That means HR should work towards establishing policies that make this possible, such as providing onsite daycare and offering child sick days that don’t encroach on the mother’s own sick leave.
- Offering a flexible schedule. If the pandemic has made one thing clear, it’s that it’s more feasible than most employers thought to offer flexible work arrangements. Allowing mothers to schedule their own hours or work from home when necessary could mean all the difference in terms of contributions and performance.
Working mothers bring not only their technical skills to a job, but also a considerable amount of soft skills such as creativity, communication abilities and management skills. And by understanding their needs and creating a work environment where they can thrive, businesses can build stronger, better and higher-performing teams.