With Mother’s Day recently passed, millions showed their appreciation for the women in their lives with flowers, chocolates, and cards. As an employer though, the gift that you can give working mums goes a little bit deeper…. Really, it’s your duty to make sure that mums are treated equally in the workplace, and that a woman’s decision to start a family doesn’t have to mean game over for her career.
It’s 2017, so you might think that we’re past the stage where these kinds of things are still burning issues. The statistics speak for themselves though. According to the World Economic Forum, it could take another 170 years to eliminate the gender pay gap. And of course, the fact that women are more likely to take on childcare responsibilities can play a big role in how they’re able to pursue opportunities.
Ensure you’re embracing legislation
Legislation exists to ensure that employers are fulfilling their legal responsibilities, and there have been several developments in recent years designed to support working mums. For example, shared parental leave is something that all workplaces should be carefully considering. Employment law can seem complicated and overwhelming, but remember that it exists to ensure that you’re a fair and equal employer. Use it to your advantage, and in a way that supports your staff.
Look for solutions and opportunities instead of problems
If you run a small business and an employee announces that they’ll be taking maternity leave soon, you may feel slightly panicked. Regardless of how much you want to support your staff, the reality of having to navigate through the changes can be overwhelming. Instead of just looking at the potential problems though, examine the opportunities that exist. Is there another member of staff who can step up and cover the role? Could this be an indicator that it’s time for you to start to look towards more flexible working practices?
Speak to your staff
You already speak to your staff all the time, so this might seem a little bit obvious. But are you actually having meaningful, honest, and open conversations about your role as an employer, and how you can support your workforce as they navigate their way through key life stages? Rather than just assuming that you know what your working mothers want and need, ask them. It may be the case that small changes to your policies and practices could make a big difference to your workforce. If you know that you need to make changes to give various segments of your employees a better chance to thrive and succeed, then there’s no time like the present.
If issues are bubbling away under the surface, or you suspect that problems could arise if you don’t take action, get in touch today. We can arrange to have a no-obligation discussion about your options, and how we might be able to work together.