Although Mother’s Day is a long ways off, it’s never too soon to start thinking about the needs of your working moms. This guest blog looks at what working moms really want from their work to help them stay inspired and engaged in their work. As many as one-quarter of all flower purchases made for holidays are for Mother’s Day, with about one-third of adults purchasing flowers or plants for mom’s special day in 2013, according to AboutFlowers.com. Moms love getting handmade cards as well as those brilliant FTD bouquets that show her she is loved and appreciated.
Another precious gift mom can really use is time. For the working mom, time can be especially scarce and without enough, both professional and personal lives can suffer significantly.
Companies that actually listen to what working women really want are likely to reap the benefits. Numerous studies have indicated that employees who are disengaged in their work due to being unhappy or distracted by other issues may cost companies billions of dollars every year. Happy employees who are able to balance a positive work and home life are more productive and creative on the job.
What do working women really want?
A 2012 survey by FlexJobs revealed that nearly all, or 97 percent, felt a flexible job would “help them be a better parent in some way.” Nearly the same amount felt that it would allow them to be more productive, and 89 percent said that work flexibility was the most important factor in making a decision to take their next job.
Although 53 percent of companies across the nation offer flextime benefits, many don’t take advantage of it, FoxBusiness.com reports. Carol Evans, the president of Working Mother Media, says this may be because women fear they may appear less valuable if they use it.
The bottom line is that not only do more companies need to offer the benefit, they also need to go out of their way to show all employees that it is acceptable to take advantage of it. There are still women in the workplace who feel forced to call in sick when they need to take care of an ill child or to attend an important school function.
A 2011 report by the Working Mother Institute revealed that nearly 50 percent of the career-oriented moms who responded felt that part-time work opportunities were desirable, particularly during their child’s preschool years. It’s no coincidence that the 2013 Best Companies for Hourly Workers honored by Working Mother typically offer benefits like flexible weeks and reduced hours.
While parenting children is important to working moms, they are still looking to move their career up a notch or two. A rewarding career can provide a better sense of identity and can positively affect all aspects of life. Yet the latest statistics show that just 4.6 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs and 4.6 percent of Fortune 1000 CEOs are women.
Firms that were among the “Best Companies” list, not surprisingly, also aim to create a culture of advancement by offering job skills training, formal advancement programs or even formal compensation programs to reward managers who help their employees advance. Among those best companies, nearly half of employees who were promoted from hourly to salaried positions were women.
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Martine Rothblatt, CEO, United Therapeutics