I talk about being a mom sometimes (like transitional labor even), so if that bugs you, cover your ears. See, the thing is, I talk about moms because I am one and guess what? So is like over <insert your stat here> percent of the workforce. And people are talking about it. But not in the ways you might think.
I’m talking about those companies that boast that they’re the best for moms and families. We’ve all seen the brightly colored banners with a very perky new mom, holding alert and happy baby up for the world to see. But how do they really compare?
For most moms, it’s a joke. All the lists that make the working mom mags, all the rankings don’t come close to affecting the jobs they hold, so who cares?
If there were a labor pool that could potentially fill in the blank between “gimme my freedom” Gen X and the “ready to retire” boomers that we’re facing in 5 years, I’d want to accommodate ’em. Particularly if they were:
3) great multi taskers
4) keeping their skills fresh in the meanwhile
So what gives? How come “working mothers” lists have become a PR commodity, rather than an employer branding tool. Let’s not forget that the “truth police Millennials” will catch us if we overpromise and under-deliver.
What can your company do?
– Prove it’s a benefit. There is a big fat hole in our workforce. Find out how to make SAHMs (stay-at-home moms) and WAHMs (work-at-home moms) fill it and you’re looking at a metric even the COO will like.
– Implement what they want. Among the top picks: part time hours, telecommuting options and a lactating room that’s not a supply closet.
– Get serious about REAL value. Yes, it’s so great if you provide on-site daycare, but is it any good? Moms talk, you know, especially when it comes to their kids. Are you charging an arm and a leg? Then it ain’t a benefit. Re: the lactating room? If she can’t get in without getting looked up and down by Larry the maintenance guy, it’s not mom-friendly. K?
Take back the title. PR needs to hand over the keys to the “Best for the Working Mom” title. That release belongs to Recruiting and HR, period. But taking it back means you own it. So get it off the pages of some glossy mag that most moms don’t have TIME to read anyway, and into the hands of talent pros who will use it to create an actual pipeline.
Maren Hogan is a millennial living the dream in Omaha, Nebraska. When she’s not plotting the downfall of Gen Xer’s like me, she’s doing marketing and development for an IT recruiting and outsourcing firm called HCI. When she’s not at HCI, she’s blogging at Big O Recruiting and becoming addicted to Twitter…