Modern workplaces have seen significant changes in the last decade--from small changes like standing desks to bigger changes like flexible schedules. These changes reflect a renewed interest in and emphasis on employee health and wellbeing. And just in time too, because there are now 16 million millennial moms and 70% of moms are in the labor force. Is your workplace prepared?
Photo: Work. Pump. Repeat
Millennial Mamas Are Here
Millennials are now the biggest generation making of up 31% of the U.S. population and 34% of the workforce. And more than a million millennial mamas gave birth in 2015...which means that 82% of all births in 2015 were to millennials! Here are three key ways to make your workplace work for millennial mamas:
1) Family Friendly Workplace Culture
According to a 2015 Pew Survey, 60% of millennials said that being a parent is "extremely important" to their overall identity. Unlike previous generations that struggled to balance career advancement with family demands--often to the detriment of one or the other--this generation seeks work/life integration. And they want to work for a company that actively fosters a workplace culture that makes such integration possible.
2) Paid Family Leave
In preparation for maternity leave, pregnant employees need clear processes, policies, and resources. But they also need to know what they can expect when they return to work. One of them most important things you can do is create a workplace culture that celebrates and supports moms by including a generous paid family leave policy in your benefit package. And when moms return from maternity leave, provide clear processes, policies, and resources that support them.
3) Support Breastfeeding
The benefits of breastfeeding for both mama and baby are well documented and include both short term and long term health benefits. As a result, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that, when possible, mothers exclusively breastfeed for at least the first six months and strongly recommend breastfeeding for a full year. The good news? Breastfeeding initiation rates are on the rise in the U.S., but the bad news is that they fall after three months when many new moms return to work.
Reduce barriers for your breastfeeding employees by making sure that their schedule allows time for pump breaks and by providing private, clean, and comfortable accommodations that support optimal breast pumping.
Being a family-friendly company that values and supports mamas will not only help you attract millennials, it will help you retain them.
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