Being a working mom is not easy. Even on your best days, you can feel pulled in a million different directions. Though more than 70 percent of women with kids under 18 are in the workforce, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, much of the stress working mothers experience is from employers who do not support their dual role. Perhaps surprisingly, more and more moms are finding the friendliest working environments with global corporations. Here are five ways that global corporations are supporting working moms.
1. Better Maternity Leave
Just by virtue of their size and scope, global corporations are able to offer better benefits to employees. For women considering motherhood, one of the most important benefits is a generous maternity leave policy. Every year, Working Mother magazine publishes a list of its 100 best companies for working mothers and the majority of these are global corporations offering a better-than-average maternity leave. On average, the 100 best companies offer 10 weeks of fully-paid maternity leave, six weeks of adoption leave, and 4 weeks of paternity leave. Global corporation Ernst & Young LLP gives 16 weeks of paid paternal leave, offers financial help with fertility costs, and covers up to $25,000 in adoption costs.
2. Other Paid Leave
As any parent knows, even the most reliable childcare is unreliable at times. Sick kids, doctor visits, unexpected daycare or school closures can all mean days off from work. Companies that can accommodate a parent’s need to care for their children can help alleviate some of the tension mothers feel between their work life and home life. Deloitte, a global accounting firm, allows for flexible schedules and up to 30 days of paid time off.
3. Flexible Time Commitment
For many mothers, companies that do not offer a flexible time commitment are a barrier to entering or re-entering the workforce. In response, many global corporations are offering creative solutions like flextime, telecommuting, a compressed work schedule, and job sharing. Amway, which sells health, beauty, and home care products, is a global corporation that doesn’t require its business owners to carry a full-time schedule. Likewise, Raytheon gives employees flexibility by allowing them to job share, work compressed schedules, and telecommute.
4. Other Family Benefits
Global corporations that are serious about retaining talented employees who want to become or are already mothers are starting to offer additional benefits that help employees grow and manage their families. These benefits may include helping defray the costs of egg freezing, in vitro fertilization, surrogacy, and childcare. Global companies like Unilever and IBM offer daycare subsidies.
5. Travel Opportunities
A benefit to working for global corporation is the ability to travel for work. Many global corporations are recognizing that this perk can also be a burden for many working mothers. In response, companies are offering benefits like travel childcare reimbursement and breast-milk shipping for nursing mothers. Investment firm KKR pays for a caregiver to fly with its employees on business trips, and so does outdoor clothing company Patagonia.
As a mother in the workforce, you need an employer who sees your parental status as a benefit, not a burden. With offerings like better maternity leave, paid leave, flexibility, family benefits, and realistic travel opportunities, many global corporations are stepping up to become employers that working mothers need to be their best at work and at home.