7 Tips for Empowering Mothers in the Workplace


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Empowering mothers in the workplace takes a thoughtful and multifaceted approach. Today, women in most households still bear the brunt of the majority of familial and household responsibilities while also working full-time. It’s unfair — and saying that it’s a lot to juggle and have on your plate is an understatement. The reality is that moms are expected to be everything both at home and at work, and that can be incredibly difficult and daunting physically, mentally and emotionally.

As a mother and entrepreneur myself, finding ways to elevate the mothers at my own company and create a culture that truly fosters work-life balance has been paramount from day one. Since starting ZenToes in 2015, I’ve grown my own family, hired an incredible team of women who have done the same and managed, with the help of my team, to grow Zentoes into a multimillion-dollar business.

While seeing your business’ success demonstrated through metrics and revenue growth is amazing, what’s been most rewarding is witnessing how dedicated our incredible team of employees is to grow with us. Below, I’ve outlined seven tips for other entrepreneurs looking to empower their employees.

1. Have flexible hours and work arrangements

Remote work options are critical in helping to ensure flexibility in schedules for moms to balance family responsibilities, including everything from pickups and drop-offs to sick days at home with the kids. They’ll also create happier attitudes towards work overall.

Related: Want to Be More Productive as a Working Mom? Try These Steps

2. Put women in leadership positions

Having women in leadership positions is crucial to creating mentorship opportunities and fostering the next wave of leaders. Creating opportunities for other women in the workplace helps elevate all women.

Related: Why I Hire and Invest in Working Moms

3. Support professional development

We believe strongly in not doubting the gaps in some women’s resumes from staying home with young children. Parenting can be a huge learning curve for people management. It’s also important to offer professional development opportunities specifically to help mothers feel confident in the time they are out of the workforce.

4. Encourage work-life balance

Prioritize having open and honest conversations with employees around ‘mom guilt’ and the need to ‘do it all.’ Employees will both feel happier and perform better when they feel at ease and balanced in their personal and professional lives. To us, it’s essential to create space for women who have families or are planning to have families to be able to take the time they need to feel successful in both work and family life.

5. Ensure redundancies to cover leave

This applies to both sides of the parental relationship! At my company, our small, scrappy team has had to identify and build redundancies to ensure the work still moves forward, and we’re not without coverage while a parent is out on leave. Documenting SOPs and having collaborative decision-making processes have been instrumental in ensuring our success.

6. Allowing for social outlets at work

It’s beneficial to have casual, weekly team-building meetings that cover social topics that allow for group sharing amongst our employees. It’s a moment for everyone not to be focused on just work or just their families and be able to share about themselves as individuals.

Related: What Working Moms at Your Company Really Need This Mother’s Day

7. Don’t forget about the partners on the other side of these working mothers

Offer the same benefits to both partners in a family unit – flexible hours, work redundancies, etc – to normalize and allow partners to be more equal at home. If they have the same flexibility, there should be a correlation in the undertaking of responsibilities – lending well to supporting a more equal future. In my household, my husband taking a fair share of the household load has been instrumental in making ZenToes a success.

Entrepreneurs should approach creating work policies, arrangements, benefits and team-building initiatives holistically, paying particular attention to the diverse needs of all employees, especially moms. Ultimately, moms are an incredibly valuable part of any business team, bringing vision and a uniquely thoughtful perspective to their work each day. Allowing for balance, honesty and communication is critical. Your company and all your employees will be better off with it.



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