When mom has to work: juggling personal and professional life with a flexible work culture.

Did you know that the proportion of mothers in the workforce is 76.5%[1] ? That it is they who, to this day, shoulder the responsibilities of domestic chores, including laundry (61%) and meal preparation (56%)? Juggling the demands of a career, family and personal life can be a daunting challenge, but countless women continue to do it masterfully. for that, the working culture need to adapted.

Considering the current socio-economic pressures, exorbitant childcare costs and the need for these women to be present in a labor-deficient job market, what can companies do to encourage and support moms when they need to work, more than ever?

Balancing work and family: an accomplished juggling act

It’s a juggling act to be both the head of a family and a professional, but many women manage it brilliantly. The skills acquired in managing the household, such as problem-solving, time management and rapid decision-making, often translate into outstanding leadership qualities in the workplace.

Enlightening statistics

To fully understand the impact of professional moms on the job market, let’s look at some enlightening statistics:

According to the International Labour Office (ILO), 45% of the global workforce is female, a significant proportion of whom are professional moms.

1.            A study conducted by the Harvard Business Review indicates that companies with parenting support programs see a significant increase in the retention of employee moms.

2.            According to a survey conducted by Forbes, 84% of women believe that flexibility at work is essential to balancing career and parenthood.

Necessary workplace accommodations

To enable these women to thrive in their dual roles, employers must inevitably put in place appropriate accommodations. Here are some practical suggestions:

1. Flexible working hours

To enable these women to thrive in their dual roles, employers must therefore inevitably put in place appropriate accommodations. Here are some practical suggestions:

Offering flexible schedules can greatly help mothers juggle personal and work demands. Think of medical appointments, small viruses, short nights, social impromptu events such as strikes in the school system. All these factors bring additional stress, which can be greatly reduced by introducing a system of flexible working hours.

According to a study published in 2021 in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, companies offering flexible working hours recorded a 62% increase in job satisfaction and a 20% reduction in stress.

2. Workspace design

Creating an inclusive, family-friendly work environment can make a big difference. On-site childcare facilities or policies that allow parents to work remotely whenever possible are positive initiatives worth investigating.

3. Stress management support

The pressure of juggling work and family life can be intense. In fact, a report by Visier, published in 2021 indicates that women seem to be the most affected by burnout, at 42%, compared to 35% for their male counterparts. 

Offering wellness and stress management programs can help relieve this pressure and improve the health and well-being of employees, including working moms.

4.  Parenting support programs

Parenting support programs, such as flexible parental leave, can significantly ease the burden on working moms. These initiatives help to create a corporate culture that places the family at the heart of its values.

Of course, such programs need the support of senior management. They can either benefit from them themselves, or encourage and promote such support programs internally. Employees must feel comfortable asking for them, otherwise these programs will fade into oblivion!

Inspiring testimonials

To bring these statistics to life, I can personally attest to the complexity of the dual role played by working moms. As a mother of 4, it goes without saying that family gymnastics is the sport I practice most often! Fortunately, our co-founders at Iceberg Management, Médina Cayer and Julie Tardif, have been very open and flexible when it comes to managing and arranging my work schedule.

Telecommuting, flexible working hours and extra time off for family or personal commitments are just a few examples of the accommodations put in place to facilitate our work-life balance.

Conclusion

Mothers in the workforce are a force not to be underestimated. Their ability to juggle family and professional responsibilities brings a unique perspective and valuable skills. Employers play a crucial role in providing the necessary accommodations to support these exceptional women.

Ultimately, it’s a win-win investment. Companies that recognize and support moms not only create more inclusive work environments, but also benefit from a more balanced, resilient and high-performing workforce. Their involvement is therefore essential. In the end, helping these moms at work is helping us too!


[1] Visier, The Burnout Epidemic Report, 2021.

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