Working moms are an important asset to any company – in fact, research suggests that mothers are generally more productive than childless women.
But being a working mom is not without its hurdles, and women are more likely to be loyal to employers who have empathy and respect for their responsibilities at home.
To find out what kind of support moms want at work, Business Insider turned to online job review site Fairygodboss, who have a direct pipeline into the candid experiences of thousands of women in the workplace.
“Working moms in our community are loud and clear about what makes them happy at work,” Fairygodboss CEO and cofounder Georgene Huang tells Business Insider.
Here are five things working moms tell Fairygodboss that employers can do to make life better for them at work:
Offer as much paid maternity leave as possible
Fairygodboss data show that women report higher job satisfaction when they take longer maternity leave, and the longer the paid maternity leave, the happier they are at their employer.
“In the six years I have worked here, I have seen some truly amazing things. For example, paid maternity leave is paid at 100% of the employee’s salary, is not held against them, and was recently extended from 12 weeks to 17 weeks.”- employee review from Fairygodboss user Lady AraCatastrofee, a global regulatory affairs employee at Johnson & Johnson
Make sure you have family-friendly values
Fairygodboss data show that women reviewing their employers make a point to specifically talk about whether their companies are family friendly or not.
“In other words, moms notice and care a lot about the fact that you don’t blink an eye if they have to stay home to take care of a sick child,” Huang says.
“I have been with ADP for 13 years and I have two children … ADP has allowed me to provide for my family financially, and I have not ever missed anything for my children … which makes me run through brick walls for ADP.” – employee review from Fairygodboss user Lady Boss, a vice president of major accounts at ADP
Respect time outside of work
“Work-life balance is still a struggle,” Huang says, noting that job satisfaction is directly related to whether working moms think companies respect their personal time outside the office.
“In general, work-life balance is good at New Balance. New Balance is very respectful of the fact that employees (both men and women) have a life outside of work. There is virtually no pressure to work longer hours on a regular basis. Using all your vacation/paid time off as needed is also perfectly OK.” – employee review from Fairygodboss user Lady Anon760, who works at New Balance
Provide flexible work arrangements
“Flexibility matters. A lot,” Huang says. “After compensation, we found that women job-seekers care about flexibility more than any other factor. For parents, and new ones in particular, this is especially important.”
“I find it a wonderful place to be a working mother because the firm offers a great deal of flexibility of scheduling and hours to accommodate outside responsibilities. Work from home arrangements, flex time, and reduced hours are commonplace.” – employee review from Fairygodboss user Lady Lawya, who works at Ropes & Gray LLP
Provide a clean, private place and time for breastfeeding moms
Almost half of the working moms Fairygodboss surveyed say that their lactation facilities are inadequate, and another quarter report their managers or employers don’t accommodate their schedule to permit pumping (which is illegal, by the way).
“This place is also very pro-pumping – they provide secure, private places all over campus to pump breast milk in private. They are very accommodating to the needs of new mothers too, such as providing a mini fridge in your office to store breastmilk, or allowing new moms to ease in back to work after maternity leave. All you need to do is ask. If your department is difficult to work with, ask the on-campus lactation specialist!” – employee review from Fairygodboss user Lady Anon760, who works at the University of Arizona