From excelling at work to taking care of family, mothers juggle numerous tasks and need to focus on work-life balance, something organizations should incorporate into their work culture and this Mother’s Day is the perfect time to do so. Organizations need to rise above the talk of flexibility for mothers and really rethink their policies around flexible working As in a recent survey by ‘Careers in Motherhood’ of 2,000 working mothers, 65% felt limited career opportunities after motherhood. Leave and almost half felt their promotion would be hindered by flexible working.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Joseph Fernandes, Senior Vice President and Head of People and Talent for South Asia at MasterCard shared, “Based on a broader commitment to empowering people based on diversity, equity and inclusion, organizations must strive to create an engaging workplace. For women who support them at different stages of life, while providing many opportunities to grow professionally and personally. Flexibility is an important consideration and is essential to ensure the well-being of colleagues. In addition to the hybrid work model, employees can choose to work from a location different from their home bases for up to four weeks each year. Additionally, implement weekly flex hours, enabling employees to take time off each week to focus on their learning and well-being.”
He suggested, “Offer industry-leading benefits, health covers, financial assistance policies for adoption, surrogacy and fertility treatment and 16-week leave for new parents (applicable to same-sex or live-in partners and adoption and foster care). Parents should also have access to a unique program that offers comprehensive support, guidance, medical consultation, counseling support and more during their prenatal and postnatal stages. Childcare is also a key reason many women choose career breaks. Helping talented women re-enter the workforce Have programs that not only focus on doing, but support them through the transition with training and mentoring opportunities. Strive to create an inclusive and equitable world that opens up invaluable possibilities for all!”
Sharad Mehra, CEO of APAC at Global University Systems (GUS) recommends, “Women are the best multi-taskers on the planet but a helping hand is always good. Child care facilities were provided to help women employees to focus more on work and stay stress free. Design initiatives to cater to employee career aspirations, emotional and mental health where career coaches, mentors and other professionals provide a foothold to female employees who are also mothers. In short, organizations need to create more empathetic policies and actually address a better balance between what women want and what the organization needs.”
He added, “Creating equity by providing equal access to resources and opportunities according to your situation, promotion and evaluation criteria for work-from-home scenarios, setting realistic work goals and expectations, workplace mentors are just a few examples of changes. In a 2018 report, the International Labor Organization (ILO) estimated that the average Indian woman works 44.4 hours per week, compared to an average of 35-36 hours in developing countries. It needs to be reset immediately. Flexible working should be about ensuring your employees are building jobs around life, not the other way around.”