Expressing employer brand on the internet is more important today than it ever has been. Are companies really being as transparent as they can be… or are we exaggerating to look as progressive and loveable as possible? Glassdoor has been a great window to showing job seekers how organizations actually function, and what the management, benefits, culture and perks look like. How often are we able to see the perks of a company that are good for women? Maternity and paternity leave benefits are difficult to bring up in an interview, and as hard as it is to say, risky, in case the organization steers from hiring you due to your inquiry about motherly benefits.
How can women find a job that truly offers them the work-life balance they need to carry on in family-building if they so chose to do so? Georgene Huang had the same thought as she carried her soon-to-be-born baby during the job search. She needed a workplace that would fairly provide her with the leave she needed to take care of her baby.
In March of 2015, Romy Newman and Huang built what they call, “Yelp for maternity leave,” The FairyGodBoss. This site is an open, anonymous discussion board, review-style website for men and women to submit their experiences with maternity and paternity leave and ongoing family benefits for organizations they’ve worked with. The site now has over 19,000 reviews covering over 7,000 employers – genius!
The need for maternal benefits during pregnancy, postpartum and even beyond the newborn stages into child development are different for every woman. Need I resurface the Marissa Mayer case, CEO of Yahoo when she took a short, two-week maternity leave after her first-born arrived? Mayer says, “I understand I’m the exception,” and that she finds, “other ways/times to bond with my kids.”
Some women prefer taking time to themselves to rest before their babies are born, others prefer to work all the way through until go-time. Having a hub to help pick through benefits packages without the need to inquire is an incredible step for women to achieve the maternal needs that work for them, comfortably.
As a mother myself, experiencing first-hand and hearing the stories of other women and moms, there are no two baby stories alike. Each mother will experience and adjust to their new motherly position very differently based on genetic build, personality-type, tendencies, upbringing and more. Which brings me to…
How Employers Can Provide Options for the Mamas & the Papas
For the ever-changing adjustment according to every employee and their developing tiny humans, set in stone, oneway policies aren’t an effective tactic for new and growing families. The best way employers can provide a quality work-life-balance benefits plan for families is to gather a bundle of affordable options within the company’s bounds to offer families.
Hold a meeting with the new mother or father and identify what options are available and for how long. Offer to try each method for two weeks as a way to test if these new workplace adjustments comply with their new addition. Go through the trial stage in two-week increments until the family finds a comfortable, daily flow.
This process can be strenuous and confusing to adjust to for employers and coworkers, but not as confusing as postpartum depression (11-20% of moms experience PPD= 600,000 moms a year), nightly middle of the night playdates, continual child development, family bonding and health & nutrition. Babies are a handful, don’t be an extra handful for these families. Allow them the time they need for their families so they can continue to succeed, feel productive and motivated at the job they care about. That’s where the real employer brand advocates come from- an employee who receives the benefits they need.