Normalizing Caregiving In the Workplace: What Companies & Individuals Can Do

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Working parents continue to feel squeezed by the competing pressures of childcare and workplace demands. For all the parents out there raising human beings and balancing work life with home life, we see you. Parenting does not take away from the workplace; it makes the workplace better. While much of the conversation will be on employees with children specifically, we also want to acknowledge that a large segment of caregivers are also caring for aging parents.

In a Consciously Unbiased LinkedIn Live conversation, Holly Corbett, VP of Content for Consciously Unbiased, sat down with parents and women’s rights leaders to talk about how supporting parents pays off for companies, families and the economy, strategies men can follow to share the responsibilities at home, and, action steps leaders of all levels can take in normalizing caregiving in the workplace. You can watch the full conversation here, and read on for some key takeaways from our expert panelists.

Key Takeaways on Normalizing Caregiving Support

We Need Men To Be Equality Role Models

“I think it’s time for the other side of the coin to step up and do their part to create more safety in the workspace. Far too often, men in leadership roles just remain quiet. And so I think that we can start within our own homes of educating our own life partners about them playing a role and the importance of how they lead and show examples. And hopefully there’s a trickle effect over time of more men playing a more supportive role in creating equity for caregivers.”

— Michael Perry, CEO & Founder, Maple

The Motherhood Penalty Is Real

“The fact that women still bear the lion’s share of caregiving in families continues to be a real driver of women’s economic inequality, of the lower pay that women still receive across occupations, of the greater financial insecurity that women, especially mothers, face throughout this country.”

— Emily Martin, VP of Education & Workplace Justice National Women’s Law Center

Offer Paid Parental Leave For All

“For leaders who are in policy making, you need to gender neutralize your parental leave, do not prioritize the birthing parent over the non-birthing parent. Make it so that both parents have the ability to have equal time with their child, because that’s critical.”

— Leslie Forde, CEO & Founder, Mom’s Hierarchy of Needs

Policies Shouldn’t Be Performative

“When my husband went to take his four-week paternity leave, his company was like, ‘Yes, we have it, but no men really take it. Are you really going to take it?’ In the scope of this, I need companies to actually bring the importance of the policies and the benefits that they’re putting down to the manager level, and allow their managers to understand the importance of supporting and not making someone feel bad. Because we have provided opportunities for people to caregive, whether it’s men or women.”

— Rocki Howard, Chief Equity & Impact Officer, The Mom Project

Financial Empowerment is Women’s Empowerment

“I do really believe that financial empowerment is women’s empowerment, and giving women economic sovereignty, making workplaces that work for them as mothers is really key for the next generation of leaders as well.”

— Holly C. Corbett, VP Content, Consciously Unbiased

It’s Time to Support Caregivers at Work: Join the Conversation

We’d love to hear your thoughts: Is your company focusing on supporting parents in and outside of the workplace? If so, what have you found that has worked well in terms of making the support successful? Share your ideas in the comments section of the LinkedIn broadcast here.

Consciously Unbiased helps organizations break all types of unconscious bias in the workplace. See how our DEI Training can help you meet your inclusion goals and browse our DEI resource library for tools to promote workplace belonging. For more expert LinkedIn Live content, check out our DEI Video Archive.

Author

Alylah Burrola

Alylah Burrola is a Consciously Unbiased Marketing Assistant passionate about empowering minorities such as women and people of color. In her spare time, she loves to paint and read.
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