Supporting mothers in workplace | Mujda Rasoul

By Mujda Rasoul

Law360 Canada (May 12, 2023, 10:55 AM EDT) --
Mujda Rasoul
Mujda Rasoul
Mother’s Day is just a few days away, making it the perfect time to celebrate and show support for working mothers in the workplace. It’s also an opportunity to reflect on gender equity within the company and see if something needs to change.

Although women represent half the workforce in Canada, women continue to be underrepresented in professional roles.

According to a new survey by Capterra Inc., 65 per cent of working mothers in Canada are experiencing a difficult mental-health load caused by having to balance their work and family responsibilities. The survey also found 35 per cent of working mothers felt their employer provided no support after sharing the news of their pregnancy.

So, what can employers do to support working mothers?

Advocate and put in accommodation policies for gender equality

To ensure continuous progress toward gender equality in the workplace, it’s important for businesses to create inclusive working environments. Employers can re-evaluate company policies to make sure women receive fair and unbiased support at work.

Employers should be looking into introducing in their environment diversity and inclusion training, flexible work schedules, coaching opportunities and programs to help women advance in leadership roles.

Provide leadership opportunities and pathways for women to grow professionally

It comes as no surprise that gender biases within the workplace hold women back from taking on leadership roles. Employers not only can provide opportunities but encourage women to go for leadership positions. They can do so through mentorship and providing learning and development programs for women to reach their goals.

Reward and recognize women on team

Employee recognition helps create a positive work culture and keeps staff feeling motivated and valued. It can be as simple as showing appreciation by publicly acknowledging their good work.

Offer flexible work arrangements

Consider giving working mothers flexible options to best support their lifestyle. This can entail working from home, four-day work weeks, or allowing them to work their required working hours anytime during the day. This can help employees work during the hours or space where they feel the most productive.

Mujda Rasoul is associate director of Peninsula Canada.

The opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the author’s firm, its clients, Law360 Canada, LexisNexis Canada, or any of its or their respective affiliates. This article is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal advice.

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