In the United States, 55 percent of working women supply half or more of their family’s household income.
Women make up a majority of essential U.S. coronavirus workers.
Only 19% of U.S. employees have access to family leave paid through an employer— and those who don’t are often forced to choose between time off or a paycheck.
Becoming a mother in the US is a huge source of worry and stress.
I saw it first hand when my wife, the primary income earner in our household at the time, told me she was pregnant with our second boy. She then felt the discrimination against her at work, where she was looked down upon because she couldn’t keep up the same hours. She was also relegated to a windowless closet that didn’t lock to pump milk.
I heard it first hand when one of my colleagues at a large retailer shared that she had no idea how she would make ends meet if she kept her baby. That’s the kind of narrative I can’t accept.
Shortly after I had immigrated from France 12 years ago, I couldn’t believe my ears. I had no idea.
The situation concerning paid maternity leave is not right. Wait, it’s bullshit.
As an employer, you could view this context as a golden opportunity to differentiate with potential recruits. Many companies don’t have a policy to support mothers the way most rich countries do. This is especially valuable if your market is competitive. You can use the narrative about paid maternity leave to your advantage. Yes, it would be smart if you came up with a well-thought-out strategy that’s going to boost your employer brand and drive up your “Great Place To Work” ranking.
Or you can simply treat women decently.
Happy Mother’s Day!