As I noted earlier, Working Mother magazine recently interviewed nearly 4,000 mothers nationwide to determine what their worries and needs are. We know now that both mothers who work outside the home and stay-at-home moms carry the weight of retro expectations on their shoulders when it comes to their domestic life, but what about life outside the home? What do career-oriented mothers want and need in order to both flourish in the workplace and feel as if they’re providing fully for their children?
According to Working Mother, the 5 most important benefits for working moms are:
1.) Flexible work hours. “With trust, flexibility can work for anyone, because at the heart of it is the belief that people will get the job done and we don’t need to monitor when and where work occurs,” says Billie Williamson, Americas Inclusiveness Officer, Ernst & Young LLP.
2.) Ability to use sick leave to care for children. Parents need their employers’ trust and support that they will do what needs to be done. “Working parents don’t want to have to lie in order to stay at home with a sick child,” Jennifer Owens, Director, Working Mother Research Institute, says.
3.) Predictable work hours. “The best companies know that plenty of planning for schedules is a key benefit their employees need,” says Carol Evans, President, Working Mother Media. “No matter what kind of career she has, a working mother wants to protect her carefully laid plans for childcare.”
4.) Availability of part-time work. Mothers want flex-time schedules. When asked to define what makes a good mother, 63 percent say being there when the kids come home at the end of the day.
5.) Paid maternity leave. Frankly, I can’t believe this is so low on the list. As we’ve mentioned time and time again, the U.S. is the only industrialized nation not to offer paid maternity leave. Why do we women have such a hard time demanding respect?
More from Working Mother: What Moms Choose, Stay-at-Home or Work?