5 Things Employers Need to Stop Doing to Working Moms

If you’re an employer doing any one of these 5 things, it’s time to rethink the way you’re treating the moms who work for you. You might just find it’s not just them who benefits .

So, employers, it’s time you stopped…

Blaming Her

When a mother leaves the office to take her medically and legally required minimal and abysmal maternity leave in this country, too many employers are making her look bad. If you’re the type of employer who makes sure every other employee ‘picking up the slack’ knows it’s their colleague’s fault they’re being required to do more work, you’re the problem, not her. In fact, recently a woman wrote an article in the Huffington post about how she thinks every woman mom or not should be entitled to a ‘Me’ eternity leave because she’s sick of doing the work of her colleagues on maternity leave. You wouldn’t complain that a co-worker got to stay in the hospital after an appendectomy and you didn’t, would you??? Plus, it’s not a new mom’s job to hire adequate temporary support while she’s away, it’s her employer’s. That’s right, YOU. She’s taking Family Medical Leave, which is a federally funded leave that doesn’t require any money out of pocket from you. Plus, Family Medical Leave isn’t just for new mothers who need maternity leave, it’s for anyone who needs to take medical leave for themselves or to care for a sick loved one.

Not Offering Benefits to ALL 

It’s not just moms who benefit from family friendly work policies, it’s families in general. Dads need to take time off to bond with baby, and in many countries they do. Plus, all employees needs to see the importance of every colleague finding appropriate work/life balance. It can’t always just be moms advocating for that. Flexible schedules, reasonable work hours, work/life balance are all things parents (and moms in particular) may be more vocal about requesting, and yet EVERY employee would benefit from being offered these options. Plus, research shows that  employees with flexible work schedules are actually MORE productive.

Breaking Pumping Laws

Did you know employers are federally required to provide a private pumping space other than a bathroom to breastfeeding mothers? Still, too many companies are shirking their responsibility in this area- and relegating pumping moms to the bathroom- or to a unlocked, not-so-private, custodial space to pump. It’s extremely exhausting and stressful as it is to make time and find the energy to pump during the work day- pumping in a cleaning supply cabinet or a poopy smelling bathroom stall is not only awful, it’s illegal. Do what’s required of you and make a real space for her.

Passing Her Up

If she’s good at what she does, reward her. Moms are all too often relegated to the ever dreaded ‘Mommy Track‘ and not taken seriously enough to move up even though they’re extremely good at what they do. You’d never do that to the dads who work with you, so why do it to moms? Don’t assume she doesn’t want to move up because she loves being a mom. It’s possible to be good at being a mom and good at your job: millions of moms around the globe are doing it right now!

Underestimating Her

The fact that she’s a mom shouldn’t be held against her, and shouldn’t be used as a excuse to see her as less capable or invested. It shouldn’t be seen as something that makes her unable to perform her job as well, but unfortunately some employers don’t see the tremendous asset moms are to their companies. Being a mom may give her a unique perspective on your customer, your brand, or your product. It may make her think outside the box for more creative solutions. Don’t assume that because she’s a mom, she has less to offer! It simply isn’t true. And you (and she) could be missing out.

This article was written by Diana Cherry,  Content Editor for Milkmakers, breastfeeding advocate, mom of 4, and a blogger over at The Front Yard Frontier.