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Three ways in which a company can support and retain working mothers

Most women leave their jobs in order to take care of their children and don’t find enough opportunities to rejoin work

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |
February 14, 2022 9:40:04 pm
working mothers, women working from home, personal and professional life, going back to work, mothers, HR, company policy, indian express newsAs women juggle their responsibilities as an employee and a mother, HR must facilitate them with flexible work arrangements. (Photo: Getty/Thinkstock)

The pandemic has not only been a health concern, but has also been a period of drastic adjustment for working mothers, who have had to juggle their professional and personal lives. Numerous surveys done in the past two years have revealed that working mothers are practically exhausted.

Yogita Tulsiani, the MD and co-founder of iXceed Solutions — a global tech-recruiter provider — points out that even before the Covid-19 crisis, women were dealing with the predicament of choosing their career or childcare. “The pandemic has only exacerbated the grim reality of working mothers,” she says.

As transformations and disruptions have become the new normal, it is time that HR and leadership of the organisation take appropriate measures to help, support and retain working mothers, she adds.

According to Tulsiani, reforms in HR policies and remarkable initiatives have taken place over the years to uplift the status of working women; here’s what can be done.

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1. Flexible work models and schedules

“The need for flexibility has never been more pressing than now. As women juggle their responsibilities as an employee and as a mother, HR must facilitate them with flexible work arrangements. HR managers can implement systems that allow remote and hybrid work and encourage schedules that are not rigid,” says the expert.

working mothers, women working from home, personal and professional life, going back to work, mothers, HR, company policy, indian express news Without child care benefits or access to affordable child care, a large number of women are forced to drop out of the workforce. (Photo: Getty/Thinkstock)

By empowering working mothers to “work asynchronously”, organisations free them from the “dilemma of choosing between work and their child”. “The freedom to determine their work schedules and work remotely will also drive productivity and performance.”

2. Inclusive hiring and work culture

Most women leave their jobs in order to take care of their children and don’t find enough opportunities to rejoin work. HR leadership can help organisations bridge this gap by providing equal and feasible opportunities to working mothers, says Tulsiani.

“By eliminating rigid selection criteria from job descriptions, recruiters can encourage women to apply. Female representation is no longer a ‘nice-to-have’ in the workplace, but rather a ‘must-have’. By making workplaces inclusive and receptive, HR can help women succeed at home and the office.”

3. Child care benefits

According to Tulsiani, without child care benefits or access to affordable child care, a large number of women are forced to drop out of the workforce. “HR must view child care benefits with equal earnestness as they do healthcare. Organisations can help working mothers enroll their children in decent childcare programs by offering financial benefits or providing on-site child care services. Making childcare accessible and affordable will empower working mothers to balance their responsibilities.”

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