By Rhonda Campbell
No one said all 9-to-5 jobs were easy. There can be a lot to balance, especially if you’re among the working moms who have baby things to tend to before and after work. Even if you’re a work from home mom, it can be tough to juggle baby items like nursing, bathing and dressing infants and babies. Some businesses get it, developing programs, policies and perhaps even a baby center that demonstrate the company’s respect for the life of working moms.
Working Moms Strengthen Economy
It’s a smart move, especially considering the fact that 85 percent of all brand purchases are made by women, including working moms. In other words, women are doing more than meeting the demands of multifaceted jobs and caring for growing babies. Women are also pumping large amounts of money into the economy, a step that helps to keep millions of Americans at work.
The New York Times’ June 9, 2012 “Nurturing a Baby and a Start-Up Business” article introduced a few of these remarkable working moms to the nation. For example, there’s Carley Roney, co-founder of the XO Group, a media business that’s worth about $300 million. Carley’s youngest child is four years old. She’s one of the many working moms who successfully balanced handling childcare responsibilities and work. Other women balancing the care of their babies and work include Divya Gugnani, founder of Send the Trend, and Jennifer Fleiss, co-founder of Rent the Runway. These working moms continued leading their small businesses as they prepared to give birth, even after they welcomed their newborn babies into their physical lives.
These women also own or co-own their own companies. As women entrepreneurs, they may be able to develop policies that respect women whose lives place them in demographics similar to their own, working moms who have daily baby things to finish. In time, other businesses, that aren’t owned by working moms, might consult (hopefully) with these and other women entrepreneurs to develop innovative programs that make the lives of working mothers and fathers easier. For example, businesses might expand existing telecommuting programs, offer parents opportunities to gain baby items at a discount or, again, design a baby center on-site at their business location.
Focus on Small Businesses Developing Parent Friendly Programs
Until then, a continuing focus on small businesses that develop and provide supportive programs for working moms can help send a broad message that, by offering parent friendly programs small businesses can attract top talent. After all, working moms are among the most productive and talented employees.
Small businesses that respect working moms may have an on-site daycare or baby center, offer family health and life insurance plans and allow qualifying workers to participate in
telecommuting and/or flexible work arrangements. Other companies let working moms and working dads bring their babies and older children to work with them.
Organizations like Parenting in the Workplace Institute (they own the Babies at Work website), partner with working parents and employers to develop programs that make it possible for working moms and working dads to bring their children, including infants and babies, into the office. In some instances, working parents participating in the programs are given a certain time period (i.e. one month, three months) to try the program. As with telecommuting and flexible work arrangements, clear goals and objectives, job descriptions, resources and performance guidelines are established.
Supervisors and working parents who participate in the programs also sit down and discuss expectations in-person. Furthermore, working moms and working dads who have a history of reporting to work on time and meeting or exceeding their job requirements may have a better chance of getting approved to participate in babies at work programs.
Whether parents, especially working moms, own their own companies or are employed by other business leaders, they need support as they love and care for their infants and babies. Organizations that respect “family” can do a lot to offer working parents this necessary support.
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http://www.she-conomy.com/facts-on-women (She-Conomy: Marketing to Women Fast Facts)
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/10/business/nurturing-a-baby-and-a-start-up-business.html?pagewanted=all&_moc.semityn.www (New York Times: Nurturing a Baby and a Start-Up Business)
http://www.babiesatwork.org (Babies at Work)