Who are the mothers who have made an impact in the technology industry? How can businesses go about recruiting and hiring tech-savvy mothers? What initiatives can organisations undertake to support mothers who work in the technology sector? And finally, what items are most desired by tech moms for Mother’s Day? These are some of the questions that businesses should consider in order to foster a positive environment for mothers in technology.
Hire 6 Tips for Creating a Better Workplace for Tech Moms on Mother’s Day
Over the years, the number of working mothers has increased significantly. According to the United States Bureau of Labour Statistics, the percentage of American mothers participating in the workforce is set to rise to 71% in 2021, a significant rise from the 47% recorded in 1975. Unfortunately, there is still a large disparity in the number of women working in technology compared to the general workforce. Currently, just 24% of women are employed in the technology sector, and even fewer, 17%, are mothers.
Despite the relatively small proportion of mothers in the technology sector, they occupy some of the highest level positions, found and run businesses, and successfully juggle the responsibilities of raising children and managing the household. Companies that are supportive of female employees, particularly mothers, can create a more diverse workforce which can have a positive impact on the success of the business, propelling it to greater heights.
Despite the progress that has been made in the past few years, a survey of business leaders revealed that 68 percent still feel their workforce lacks diversity. This indicates that organisations must make a concerted effort to create dedicated initiatives to support and promote women in the technology industry. Such initiatives need to be designed to address the lack of diversity and help create an environment where women feel supported and encouraged to pursue technology-related careers.
Let us give ladies what they deserve this Mother’s Day. Here are six actions that hiring managers may do to empower women and mothers in technology.
Recognise the motherhood vs. career struggleFor many women, becoming a mother is a significant milestone in their lives; however, recent studies have revealed that parenting can often impede a woman’s professional growth and earning capacity. This is causing a large number of millennials to put off having children so that they can prioritise their careers.
The delay is mostly due to financial constraints. Many women, however, cite health concerns and work aspirations as reasons for the wait.
The mean age of women giving birth has been seen to differ from one country to another, and over time there has been a general trend of this age increasing globally. In the United States, the average maternal age has been observed to have grown from 21 in 1972 to 26 in 2021, indicating a steady climb in recent years.
Hiring managers can assist women in technology in balancing careers and parenthood.
Here are a few ways to replicate this:
- Specialised health insurance is available.
- Increase support by organising awareness campaigns.
- Make arrangements for emergency medical assistance.
- Set up yoga and meditation sessions.
Improve your return-to-work policiesWhen mothers return to work after maternity leave, they may need mentors or advisors.
It is entirely understandable that individuals may not be able to dedicate themselves to their tasks with the same enthusiasm following a period of 12 to 16 weeks away. To help them handle this transition, it is recommended that they find a mentor or guide with whom they can discuss their concerns and receive guidance. Having a reliable source of advice and support can help tech parents make informed decisions and progress in their work.
Moreover, the disparity in income between men and women over the period of 12 to 16 weeks can have a lasting effect on women. Unpaid maternity leave, in addition to slower wage growth and fewer opportunities for promotion, can detrimentally affect the psychological and financial wellbeing of women.
Here are a few things you can do to help new moms:
- Provide compensated parental leave.
- When considering promotions, consider their total job production.
- If a wage increase is not possible, provide regular financial incentives.
- Make available interest-free credit.
Allow for flexible work hours and remote employmentAccording to recent findings, the vast majority of parents with young children (80%) are feeling exhausted. During working hours, mothers are providing the majority (70%) of childcare. Moreover, mothers are spending a greater amount of time caring for their children when they are ill, and taking a larger proportion of sick days than fathers.
Many mothers in technology-related fields find it difficult to reconcile their work and family responsibilities. Nevertheless, offering flexible working policies can allow them to achieve better results. By allowing them to adjust their schedules and have more control over their working hours, they can better balance their commitments and produce higher-quality work.
When given the autonomy to choose where and when they work, individuals, particularly those with parental responsibilities, have reported an increase in happiness, wellbeing, and productivity. While there are advantages to having an office, businesses can embrace a hybrid or completely remote working model with flexible working hours to ensure their staff remain content, healthy, and productive.
Here are a few ideas for a flexible-work policy for moms in technology:
- Set 50% of the time as conventional office time and the other 50% as flexible working hours for a completely remote work environment.
- Employees in a mixed work environment should utilise a 3-2-2 work paradigm which involves three days of work in the office, two days of remote work, and two days of time off. This structure ensures a balance between onsite and remote work, as well as allowing for adequate rest and leisure time.
- Provide new parents with ‘half-day Fridays.’
- Request that reporting managers schedule daily team meetings at a specific time.
Hiring should be free of biasDespite the existence of policies that are designed to make it easier for working mothers to balance their professional and personal lives, such as offering flexible working arrangements and combined family leaves, many mothers still do not take advantage of them due to the fear of being identified as mothers and facing potential negative repercussions.
Data suggests that job applicants who do not mention having children are twice as likely to be selected for an interview. Additionally, more than 60% of working mothers experience discrimination in the workplace after having a child. Consequently, normalising parenting in the workplace is essential in order to create a more inclusive and diverse environment.
Here are a few strategies for eliminating bias in hiring parents in technology:
- Remove gender-specific language from job descriptions and postings.
- Include blind skills tasks in the hiring process.
- Form an interview panel comprised of 50% male and 50% female representatives.
- Consider hiring back women who left due to family obligations.
Prioritise pressing issuesMany businesses remain reluctant to engage in open and honest dialogue about the mental health repercussions faced by women in response to experiences such as miscarriage, abortion, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, pay inequality and job discrimination. In doing so, these businesses are denying women the opportunity to access much-needed support and resources. Consequently, it is essential that businesses recognise the importance of openly discussing these issues and provide resources to help empower women to cope with the associated mental health challenges.
Not just moms in technology, but everyone needs a helping hand when they are at their lowest
It may not be appropriate for you to be the sole person responsible for addressing serious matters, however, it is important for you to show empathy and understanding for your colleagues. Furthermore, you can encourage team members to provide support to those who are in need of assistance.
It is essential to foster networks of working mothers within corporate entities, as these communities can help to raise awareness and provide support to other mothers in similar situations. By sharing their experiences, these mothers can offer valuable insight and assistance to other mothers who may be facing challenges, leading to a more inclusive workplace environment. Ultimately, such networks can be beneficial to both the company and its employees, creating a more supportive and understanding atmosphere.
Take advice from othersDropbox offers generous paid parental leave for birth or adoption, which includes twenty-four weeks as well as a ‘Transition Week’ to help new parents adjust to returning to work. Furthermore, the organisation will cover up to two finalised adoptions expenses, to a maximum of ten thousand dollars.
Many large corporations, including Netflix and Google, have implemented tailored incentives to support mothers in the technology industry, similar to the initiatives that Dropbox have instigated. Utilise these examples to draw inspiration for creating your own unique empowerment narrative for mothers in information technology.
Don’t just look at American laws and corporations.
In Sweden, for instance, new parents are entitled to sixteen months of additional paid leave until their child reaches the age of eight. This benefit is in addition to other parental rights such as the right to take up to four months of paid leave to care for a sick child under the age of twelve. Similarly, Hungary offers an ‘infant care allowance’ to new parents, which covers seventy percent of the employee’s average daily wage and provides access to healthcare services for the mother.
So, how can you begin to empower moms in technology this Mother’s Day?
The first step in empowering moms in technology is to change one’s mindset.
Despite the progress that has been made in recent years, many people still believe that pursuing a successful, high-level career requires a significant commitment of time and effort, which can be difficult for working mothers to manage. With the additional responsibilities of caring for children, husbands, and homes, mothers may be unable to dedicate the necessary hours to their careers, and, as a consequence, their career advancement may be hindered.
This faulty attitude ignores the true issue.
The problem arises when we consider all mothers only in terms of traditional roles and responsibilities. In recent years, women have made considerable progress in terms of the opportunities they are afforded, and it is important to acknowledge and respect this.
At Works, we are dedicated to creating a better tech space with an emphasis on gender equality this Mother’s Day. Our mission is to ensure that both men and women have equal opportunities to reach their full potential, and our website provides companies with a way to select from an expansive, diverse and competent workforce of over 1.5 million+ applicants from 150+ countries, who have been carefully selected to represent the top 1% of talent in the industry. We believe that by equalising the playing field with this level of access to top talent, we can help to create a more unified and successful engineering workforce.