Best Practices for Working Mothers
Wednesday August 25, 2021, By Janani Sampath
Caring for mothers. How India Inc. shows the way
Companies embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) have accommodated goals that specifically look at retaining women in the motherhood stage. In the last five years, the Best Companies for Women India (BCWI), a gender analytics exercise, conducted by Avtar in association with the US-based Working Mother, has seen an upward trend in the parameters that speak for robust and efficient DEI measures. These include the whopping percentage of over 50% of initiatives and policies instituted by the Best Companies for Women being for equitable support to navigate the demands of marriage and motherhood. The top companies recognized by the BCWI 2020 have been able to retain 91% of their women employees managing the maternity stage, an achievement because motherhood along with marriage has been a deciding factor for a woman’s career, as seen by studies.
We look at some of the best practices that have been adopted by the companies to ensure that the needs of mothers are not just accommodated, but also their aspirations to grow amid the personal dynamics are attended to.
Maternity Management Program by Wells Fargo International Solutions Private Limited (formerly known as Wells Fargo EGS(India) Private Limited)
Under this program, the company extends support to the expectant team members pre- and post-maternity through a multi-pronged approach. These include reporting manager sensitization, special cab privileges, reserved car parking, convenient work station, mothers’ room, work from home options, and counseling. Their post-management care includes daycare or crèche facility, and childcare reimbursement. There is also a Women’s Team Member Network (WTMN), which focuses on strengthening women team members’ value through support networks and learning interventions for professional mothers, apart from young professionals, mid-to-senior management, and women in leadership.
The Care for pregnant women employee’s initiative by TVS Motor Company Ltd
The company offers medical assistance and cabs for their comfort and safety during the daily commute for expectant mothers. Parental leave that includes maternity, paternity, and adoption leaves are offered to associates and for women undergoing miscarriages too. Mothers who take the surrogate mother route by commissioning them will also be eligible for maternity leave soon after the child is home. The company also offers to leave for infertility treatment.
Extended maternity benefits by Value Labs LLP
Their policy covers various aspects of pregnancy and motherhood. Apart from helping new mothers bond better with the newly-born child, the company offers paid leave for medical termination of pregnancy to help them recover from the physical and emotional stress. There is a flexible working arrangement for family circumstances like child care, sick parents, spouse care, etc. There is also the second career option for women who took a break for maternity or family care reasons and are willing to join the active workforce.
Work-life integration by Renault Nissan Technology & Business Centre India Private Limited
The integration includes flexible work arrangements, wellness initiatives, supporting infrastructure and avenues, etc. There are lactation rooms, childcare facilities, and affinity groups that have resulted in a 99% retention rate of returning mothers. Their Women Achiever Award recognizes about six women employees for their exceptional contribution.
Individual support for mothers by Tech Mahendra
While the company encourages an overall gender-sensitive management culture and looks to advance opportunities for women in the workplace and celebrate their success, there is also a personalized support module for expectant mothers. Working mothers get support based on their individual needs, including work from home options as and when needed. The engagement programs promote work-life balance, flexible work-timings, preferential shifts, workplace security, and fitness and health, with a focus on women employees.
- With close to 15 years of experience in journalism across beats in multiple mediums, Janani Sampath is content editor, Diversity Digest.