Choosing a company to work for as an independent working woman is one thing but once you become pregnant everything changes. Some women don't expect to get pregnant at their current job and could care less about the company’s policies on maternity leave. I am here to warn you that the company you work for is just as important as the hospital you choose to deliver your baby. America is lagging behind when it comes to benefits for working mothers among other civilized countries. The United States remains the only country in the developed world that does not mandate employers offer paid leave according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. American women have been working later into their pregnancies and going back to work sooner after birth. Research has shown that paid maternity leave is associated with better job performance and retention among mothers, increased family incomes, and increased economic growth.
When I initially discovered that I was pregnant for the first time I was shocked and petrified all at the same time. At the time I was working in a corporate environment with standard health benefits. It never occurred to me to read our company maternity leave policy until it happened. At the time the company maternity leave provided me with 8 weeks of paid maternity leave, 6 weeks of unpaid maternity. Evidently, this was not enough time to spend with my newborn baby and barely enough to support our needs. Fortuitously for me, the father of my child, who is now my husband, was able to provide. I knew right away that my standards had to change for the quality of life I wanted for myself and family. I was determined to find a better paying job with a company that had great benefits and would allow me to afford childcare as well. I was fortunate enough to find another job at a fabulous company with great benefits such as 4 months paid maternity leave, remote access, back up childcare, 401k benefits, accommodating breast pumping rooms, and a family-friendly environment. It was an awesome experience and one of the best companies I had ever worked for.
Seventy percent of mothers with children under the age of 18 are in today's workforce, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. With these statistics, more companies should be rolling out the red carpet to accommodate working mothers. The economy is performing at an exponential rate and companies are pairing up with other companies to accommodate working mothers today. There have been new laws implemented to assist families with Take a look at Milk Stork, Milk Stork is a company that makes it easy for working moms to get breast milk home when you're away on business. You just pump, pack and ship. Starbucks provides Parental leave, contribution to education and IVF reimbursement for part-time and full-time employees. From Apple to Target and Starbucks, companies are offering excellent perks and benefits for working mothers and retaining talent to remain competitive. If you work for a company that provides maternity leave, IVF treatments, remote access from home, onsite daycare and a clean place to pump your breast milk. It says that this company cares about its employees and understands work-life balance. It would be hard for you to leave.
If you are currently working at a job that does not provide the benefits or quality of life that would accommodate your new family, planning and preparation are key. Do your homework on the company or organization you would like to work for. Look for perks and benefits that will make your life easier. It is not only Fortune 500 companies that are providing great benefits to working mothers today. Back in the day, a woman would be embarrassed to ask what a company maternity leave policy was due to fear of not getting the job or being perceived as being a problem but today we have technology at our fingertips and its only right if you ask what their company policies and work culture is like beforehand. There is also a website called FairyGodBoss.com that has a database of over 180 different companies and their maternity leave policies. Remember your current situation is only temporary it can always be changed.