May 28, 2024

Empowering Parents at Work: Strategies for an Inclusive and Supportive Workplace

Here at Therify, we support parents in the workplace and want to help you do the same!

Here at Therify, we support parents* in the workplace and want to help you do the same!

Being a working mother can be difficult. Managing the dual pressures of professional and family responsibilities, transitioning to first-time parenthood, navigating gendered expectations, and potentially lacking supportive family or community nearby are just some of the many challenges of being a working parent. 

What can you do to support parents in the workplace?

  • Incorporating flexible work-from-home policies
    Especially during and since the COVID-19 pandemic, working parents have benefitted from flexible work-from-home policies more than ever. WFH policies can shift the dial for parents when they have kids who aren’t yet in school, when kids get sick, or when childcare falls through.
  • Flexible morning and afternoon meeting times
    For parents of school-aged children, morning and afternoon meetings can make picking up kids from school difficult or impossible. Allowing parents to have flexible or asynchronous meetings help parents have a smoother schedule and contribute more effectively to their teams.
  • Lactation rooms
    For employees who are in-office, having a lactation room is an easy way to support new parents when they need to pump. Make sure that the space is quiet and private, with a door that locks and a chair and table. Ensure your employees have time throughout the day to pump when needed, and include refrigerators in the lactation space to store milk.
  • Expanding parental leave
    Does your paternal leave policy include fathers or non-birthing parents? How about folks who have adopted a child, or parents that foster children? What about intentional sick leave or bereavement policies for parents who may experience the loss of ta child, either by miscarriage or another tragedy? Including policies for all of these situations means that your bases are all covered. Including parental leave for fathers or non-birthing parents ensures that new mothers have support at home when they transition into parenthood. And consider offering paid leave if you don’t already.
  • Introducing flexible sick days
    When your team members have a sick little one at home, it’s often a mother who’s expected to stay home with them. Introducing flexible PTO to your sick leave policy can help parents feel more at ease when they’re already worried about their child at home.
  • Offering help with childcare
    Offering on-site childcare at the office, a childcare stipend, or researching childcare options in your area to present to working parents are great ways to offset the burden on parents to find and pay for trustworthy childcare.
  • Parenting openly
    Building a work culture that’s supportive of parents starts with leaders. Encouraging managers and supervisors to openly share that they’re leaving early for a child’s doctor appointment or dance recital rather than a vague “personal obligation” makes it easier for other working parents to do the same.

Those are just some of our ideas on how you can support parents in the workplace. What are your thoughts? Have you tried any of these? How did they go?

*We use the word “parents” in some cases rather than exclusively “mothers” or “moms” because we want to include parenting people who may not identify as women.