The impact of technology in the industry is undeniable, but what about the mothers who have left their mark? How can businesses attract and employ tech-savvy mothers? What steps can organisations take to provide better support for mothers working in technology? Lastly, what are some of the most-wanted gifts for tech-savvy mothers on Mother’s Day? These are just a few of the questions that businesses need to address to cultivate a positive environment that supports mothers who work in technology.
6 Tips for Improving Workplace Environment for Tech Moms on Mother’s Day
The population of working mothers has witnessed a tremendous rise over the years. As per the United States Bureau of Labour Statistics records, the percentage of American mothers partaking in the workforce is expected to increase to 71% in 2021, which is a significant jump compared to the 47% in 1975. Despite this, there still exists a wide gap in the number of women working in technology as opposed to the general workforce. Surprisingly, only 24% of women are employed in the technology industry, and even more alarmingly, only 17% of them are mothers.
Despite being a minority in the technology industry, mothers have managed to climb the ladder to some of the highest positions, run successful businesses, and balance their family and professional responsibilities adeptly. By being supportive of their female employees, especially mothers, companies can build a more diverse workforce that can be a great asset for the business, creating opportunities for exponential growth and tremendous success.
The recent years have seen significant improvements, but a survey of executives has shown that 68% still think that their workforce lacks diversity. This indicates that companies need to take deliberate actions by introducing initiatives that promote and support women in technology if they want to achieve greater diversity. These initiatives should aim to address the scarce representation of women in technology and strive to create a supportive atmosphere where women feel confident in pursuing technology careers.
This Mother’s Day, let’s honor the ladies and give them what they deserve. Here are six steps that hiring managers can take to empower women and mothers in the technology industry.
Recognize the Struggle Between Motherhood and CareerFor many women, becoming a mother is a significant milestone in their life. However, recent studies have revealed that parenting can create obstacles to a woman’s professional growth and earning potential, causing many millennials to postpone having children to prioritize their careers.
The delay is mostly due to financial constraints. However, some women cite health concerns and work aspirations as reasons for postponement.
The mean age of women giving birth varies from one country to another, and globally, this age has been increasing over time. In the United States, the average maternal age has risen from 21 in 1972 to 26 in 2021, indicating a steady increase in recent years.
Hiring managers can help women in technology to balance their careers and parenthood.
Here are a few ways to achieve this:
- There are specific health insurance plans available to cater to their unique needs.
- Boost support by hosting campaigns to raise awareness.
- Arrange for emergency medical assistance.
- Establish yoga and meditation classes.
Enhance Your Return-to-Work PoliciesWhen mothers come back to work after their maternity leave, they may require mentors or advisors.
It’s quite understandable that people may not be able to devote the same level of enthusiasm to their work following a 12-16 week absence. Thus, it’s advisable to set them up with a mentor or advisor who can discuss their concerns with them and provide guidance. Having a reliable source of advice and support can aid tech parents in making informed choices and advancing in their careers.
Additionally, the income disparity between men and women during the 12-16 week period can have long-term consequences for women. Unpaid maternity leave, along with slower wage growth and fewer promotion opportunities adversely impact women’s financial and emotional well-being.
Here are a few measures you can take to assist new mothers:
- Offer paid parental leave.
- When contemplating promotions, evaluate their overall job performance.
- If a salary raise is not feasible, offer frequent monetary incentives.
- Provide interest-free credit options.
Permit Flexible Work Hours and Remote WorkingRecent studies reveal that a vast majority of parents with young children (80%) feel overwhelmed. During working hours, mothers are responsible for the majority (70%) of child care. In addition, mothers spend more time caring for sick kids and take more sick days than fathers.
Many mothers in technology fields find it challenging to balance their work and family responsibilities. However, providing flexible work arrangements can help them achieve better results. Allowing them to adjust their schedules and have greater control over their work hours enables them to balance their commitments and deliver high-quality work.
Individuals, particularly those with parental responsibilities, report higher happiness, well-being, and productivity when given the autonomy to decide where and when they work. Though having an office has its benefits, companies can adopt a hybrid or completely remote work model with flexible working hours to ensure that their employees remain happy, healthy, and productive.
Here are some suggestions for implementing a flexible work policy for mothers in the technology industry:
- Designate 50% of the work hours as traditional in-office hours and the remaining 50% as flexible working hours for a fully remote work setup.
- For workers in a hybrid work environment, it’s recommended to use a 3-2-2 work schedule where they work three days in the office, two days remotely, and have two days off. This framework ensures a balance between on-premises and remote work, while also allowing for sufficient rest and leisure time.
- Offer “half-day Fridays” to new parents.
- Ask reporting managers to set a fixed time for daily team meetings.
Hiring Should Be Bias-FreeDespite policies designed to help working mothers balance their personal and professional lives, such as flexible working hours and combined family leaves, many mothers are hesitant to take advantage of them due to the possibility of being labelled as mothers and facing negative consequences.
Studies reveal that job candidates who do not disclose having children are twice as likely to be invited for an interview. Moreover, over 60% of working mothers face prejudice in the workplace after childbirth. Therefore, making parenting a normal and accepted aspect of the job is crucial to creating a more inclusive and diverse work environment.
Here are a few methods for eliminating bias when hiring parents in the technology sector:
- Eliminate gender-specific language from job descriptions and postings.
- Incorporate blind skills assessment in the recruitment process.
- Establish an interview panel with equal male and female representation (50% each).
- Take into account rehiring women who left due to family responsibilities.
Address Critical Issues FirstMany businesses are hesitant to discuss the mental health impact on women caused by experiences like miscarriage, abortion, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, pay inequity, and employment bias. By doing so, these businesses deprive women of the chance to seek essential assistance and resources. Therefore, it’s crucial for companies to acknowledge the significance of openly discussing these issues and provide resources to enable women to cope with the associated mental health challenges.
Not only women in technology but also everyone requires assistance when they are facing difficulties.
While you may not be solely responsible for addressing such severe issues, it’s vital to demonstrate empathy and kindness for your colleagues. Additionally, you can encourage team members to aid and support individuals who require assistance.
Establishing networks of working moms within businesses is essential, as these groups can raise awareness and provide support to other moms who face similar challenges. By sharing their experiences, these moms can offer valuable insight and support to others in similar situations, fostering a more inclusive work environment. Ultimately, such communities can benefit both the organization and its employees, creating a more supportive, understanding atmosphere.
Seek Advice from OthersDropbox provides extended paid parental leave for birth or adoption, including twenty-four weeks as well as a ‘Transition Week’ to help new parents adjust to returning to work. Additionally, the company will pay up to ten thousand dollars in finalised adoption expenses for employees.
Several major corporations, such as Netflix and Google, have implemented customized programs to support mothers in the technology industry, similar to Dropbox’s initiatives. You can use these examples to inspire and craft your unique narrative of promoting the empowerment of mothers in the field of information technology.
Don’t limit yourself to just analyzing the laws and businesses in America.
For instance, in Sweden, new parents are entitled to sixteen months of extra paid leave until their child reaches eight years old, in addition to other parental rights such as taking up to four months of paid leave to care for a sick child under the age of twelve. Similarly, in Hungary, new parents receive an ‘infant care allowance,’ which covers seventy percent of their regular daily wages and provides access to healthcare services for the mother.
How Can You Empower Mothers in Technology This Mother’s Day?
The initial step toward empowering mothers in technology involves changing one’s perceptions and attitudes.
Even though significant strides have been made in recent years, some individuals still believe that reaching a successful, high-level career requires a substantial investment of time and dedication, which can be challenging for working mothers to balance. With the added responsibilities of caring for children, spouses, and households, mothers may find it difficult to allocate the required time for their careers, hindering their professional growth.
This flawed mindset overlooks the actual problem.
The issue arises when we perceive all mothers solely in conventional roles and obligations. Women have made significant advancements in terms of the opportunities they receive in recent years, and it is crucial to acknowledge and appreciate this progress.
At Works, we are committed to promoting gender equality and creating a better technological environment this Mother’s Day. Our objective is to ensure that both men and women have the same opportunities to achieve their maximum potential, and our website provides businesses with access to an extensive, diverse, and skilled workforce of over 1.5 million+ applicants from 150+ countries, who have been carefully chosen to represent the top 1% of industry talent. We believe that by providing equal access to top talent, we can create a more united and successful engineering workforce.