A new study from The Mom Project battles back at significant pandemic-induced job losses faced by mothers. Businesses that hire, retain and promote moms will fare better than counterparts that don’t.
A staggering 865,000 women left the American workforce in September due to the unrelenting strain caused by the pandemic and cascading consequences of a recession coupled with childcare and schooling options remaining in limbo. Four times more women than men stopped working or looking for work in September. Women of color continue to be hit the hardest with 324,000 Hispanic women making up nearly half of those numbers, while 58,000 Black women left the workforce or stopped looking for work.
Experts fear COVID-19 will unravel more than 10 years of workplace equality progress for women. This loss of critical talent hurts businesses today with a projected impact for years to come at all levels of leadership.
A new study released today by WerkLabs, the research and insights division of The Mom Project, underlines exactly what the country and its businesses stand to lose as the “mom exodus” continues from the American workforce. The presence of moms in the workplace, particularly in managerial and C-suite positions, not only results in greater inclusivity within an organization, but creates a more positive employee experience, heightened productivity, and an increase in retention outcomes. This research is one of the first quantitative studies of its kind to extrapolate the true impact of moms in the workplace.
“The positive influence and benefits of supporting women and moms in the workplace are well-documented, but this is the first study that actually quantifies how women and moms, especially in leadership, directly lead to increases in productivity, communication, diversity, and retention,” said Dr. Pamela Cohen, President of WerkLabs and author of the study. “We hear repeatedly how exceptional our community of more than 300,000 moms at The Mom Project are as employees, managers, and leaders so we pursued an in-depth look to really understand if and why this was true. The numbers do not lie. Simply put: mothers make workplaces better. Period.”
Of the more than 500 professionals surveyed, female employees with colleagues who are mothers report having a 23% more positive workplace experience than those without. Additionally, female employees with colleagues as mothers rate their anticipated productivity for next year 12% higher than those without mothers as colleagues.
One of the driving factors for the positive feedback and higher levels of productivity and workplace experience at organizations who employ moms can be attributed to the comfort levels employees have opening up to managers and CEOs who are also mothers. More than 81% of women surveyed who have managers who identify as mothers ranked their manager as approachable.
Because of this, female employees with colleagues who are mothers report being 35% more likely to stay at their employer in five years’ time, while female employees who lack mom colleagues cite being 22% more likely to leave their employer within the next year. Moms have a significant impact on retention of the company’s workforce, a critical measure of business success.
With the lines between parenthood and career blurred indefinitely as a result of the pandemic and most people working from home, parents need greater support now more than ever to remain productive. More than 50% of working parents are currently without childcare, and 1 in 5 working parents said either they or their partner are considering leaving the workforce to care for their children. Women reported they are twice as likely than their male counterparts to leave their employer in a year’s time due to their workplace experience during the pandemic.
The need to hire, retain, support and promote moms is paramount for businesses that hope to succeed and thrive through the escalating challenges of Covid-19. Prioritizing moms is not charity, it’s now proven to be critical for business success and growth. We must do everything we can to prevent a decade of workplace equality from disappearing, while powering the economy forward. Investing in moms is the answer.
Allison Robinson is the founder and CEO of The Mom Project.