Parents of Young Children

Work Changes When Women Become Mothers

Women earn half of college degrees and make up almost half the workforce. Their importance to employers cannot be overstated. Another critical fact: about 85% of women will become mothers. To be able to hire and keep women, employers will need to focus on controlling and reducing assumptions and biases about mothers in their workplaces.

Many women report that they are treated differently at work once they become mothers. Some say their supervisors become short-tempered with them, seeming to always be looking for something to criticize, and denying them the flexibility they need to manage work and family. Others say that they are ignored, left out of meetings, and overlooked for opportunities. The result for all these women is stress and distraction – and a reduction in productivity.

Work+Family Insight - Attracting & Retaining Caregiving Employees

Work Changes When Men Become Fathers, Too

Men report that work changes for them once they become fathers, but the changes depend on whether they take a traditional, more hands-off approach to fatherhood or a more involved approach. Men who take a traditional approach frequently receive a pay increase and more opportunities to develop professionally and advance, but many say that they experience significant work/family conflict. Men who are equal parents, take leave, or work flexibly describe being treated similarly to mothers, but some with the hostility of being socially isolated or punished in other ways for acting contrary to the stereotypical traditional father. Like women, many men are looking to change jobs to find a more supportive employer.

Work+Family Insight - Caring for Elderly Parents

What Employers Can Do to Keep Parents

Parenthood became more visible in the workplace during the pandemic, and sharp distinctions were seen between employers that supported parents and those that did not. Many parents left unsupportive workplaces – and when they re-entered the workforce, it was to work for another employer that didn’t make it hard to be a good employee and a parent.

How can employers retain parents? It takes three things: innovative benefits, policies that make it easier to combine work and family, and controlling the effects of unconscious bias. Get some ideas from our Resources, and contact us to talk about the particular needs of your organization.

Work+Family Insight - Parents of Young Children

Let’s talk about how you can work better with your caregiving employees.

Workforce 21C is now Work+Family Insight.