Article by: Carl Gould
Listen up employers, it’s time to step up and support your female employees. We all know women are equally as qualified as men, so why not provide them with the benefits and accommodations that help them navigate their home and parenting responsibilities while transforming your business’ performance?
Sure, women have made progress when it comes to equal opportunities in the workplace. But let’s not forget that COVID-19 could set them back. With childcare funding running out, women who are already juggling work and caregiving responsibilities will be faced with a major hurdle. Without adequate support, they may be forced to leave the workforce, resulting in a loss of valuable talent and experience.
So, what can employers do to prevent this? Provide flexible working arrangements, on-site childcare, and paid parental leave, for starters. And how about going a step further? What if you offered additional employee benefits like laundry services, dry cleaning services, dog walking services, and home cleaning services for head of household (female OR male) workers? Think about the convenience and reduced stress levels that could translate into a happy, productive team.
And what about the work schedule? Let’s be real – the traditional 9-5 isn’t the most accommodating for working parents. That’s why I recommend a hybrid workplace that permits workers to come into the office only three days per week, while allowing women to work a daily schedule that aligns with their children’s school schedule. In most cases, that would mean women could start at 9:30 a.m. and leave as early as 2:00 p.m. each day in order to meet their parenting responsibilities.
By making these changes, you don’t just benefit your female employees. You benefit your entire company. With a happier, more productive team, you’ll attract and retain top talent, improve employee satisfaction, and productivity. It’s a win-win.
So, let’s not let progress slip away. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the gender pay gap has shrunk to 82 cents on the dollar, the narrowest it’s been since they started taking records. The gender gap is now a slim 10%. But this positive trend could be in jeopardy as COVID-era funding for childcare runs out this month. Employers, it is in your best interest to invest in policies that provide support for families and help them balance work and life responsibilities. The more flexible you are as an employer, the more the gender gap will continue to shrink. Women are a significant portion of the workforce, and offering them the support they need to succeed is not just the right thing to do – it’s good for business.