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Ten Things You Can Do To Retain Moms in the Workplace


1. Offer the most generous maternity policies possible, which is smart business.
a. Mothers who receive paid maternity leave are 93% more likely to return to work.
b. 91% of businesses with generous paid maternity leave say it has not negatively affected productivity.
c. A policy including generous paid leave helps companies attract the best talent in a tight market.
2. Become aware of the “motherhood penalty,” a term coined by sociologists who report that in the workplace, relative to childless women, working mothers encounter disadvantages in pay, perceived competence, and benefits. The truth? Women don’t become less productive after giving birth and men don’t become more productive after becoming Dads.
3. Meet with pregnant employees before their maternity leave to jointly draft a “job plan” – how you both envision the coming months playing out. This will show you are committed to retaining your employee.
4. Consider promoting a woman just before her maternity leave, which would powerfully demonstrate that you value her contributions and would welcome her back.
5. Support access to childcare, by either offering services, preferably on-site, or providing referrals.
6. Feature a bulletin board in the office where people can post photos of their families.
7. Develop a response for work that happens off the clock and outside the office. Show your employees, and moms in particular, that you value their contributions AND their after-hours availability.
8. Implement and promote a variety of flexible work options. Flex-time has been shown to be a great option for retaining millennial employees. For moms, workforce exit and reentry planning – to ensure that women return to work in positions of equal pay and status – is also a real positive.
9. Set up a Mother’s Room where breastfeeding moms can pump. Let the women who will use the room decide how to outfit and decorate it.
10. Extend paid maternity leave. When Google increased new moms’ paid maternity leave from 12 to 18 weeks, the rate at which new moms left the company fell by 50%.

* excerpts from