The day starts with the buzz of an alarm clock every morning. With a half sleepy mind and a slothful body, by slapping the alarm off psyching up for the rest of the frenetic day is my daily conventional way. The journey begins with 3 backpacks as if I am preparing an everyday hike to the Mount Everest base camp is another daily task of mine. But the headstrong mother suddenly becomes sluggish and poignant while dropping off the child in the daycare centre inside the office campus. That is what we call separation anxiety; at times, parents feel more anxious than the child.
Tearful, tantrum-filled goodbyes are very common while dropping off the child in a daycare centre in the child’s early age. But babies adapt to the caregivers pretty well as time goes ahead but mothers are more overpowered by the separation anxiety at times. So, I can really sense the emotion of all mothers who have to keep their children away from them in a daycare centre or somewhere else. Some mothers cannot even see their child the whole day but somehow, I am blessed that I get the privilege to visit my child anytime as I wish. I owe my company for providing us with such a vital facility.
Women are now a visible part of the workforce in almost all professions. Here, is the question, working mothers are doing their part but what are the organizational responsibilities towards every mother who are employees as well? There have been many scholarly articles published on changing organizational framework, empowering women, flexibility, etc. but are all organizations equipped or concerned enough to facilitate the same? Well, the answer may be varied, but at least a few basic policies in all organizations can be somehow smoothened the life system of a working mother. Companies like HCL Technologies Ltd, IBM, Accenture, Deloitte, Pepsi Co. have always believed in, “we care” policy towards working mothers.
There are many female leaders globally who have raised the concern on flexibility about working women. There is a phrase, followed by every corporate that is “Recruitment is important, but retention is the key”. So, all organizations including SME or startup, everybody should follow some unique models, which can bring tranquillity to the life of working women employees. Basic requirements comprise of daycare centre inside the premise, work flexibility like work from home, flexible working hours up to some extent, an extension of maternity leaves can make the work-life balance easy.
Not only to new mothers, but the organization also should offer some more paid leaves to new fathers to support the balance they seek. Perhaps, the most ingenious benefit offered by every organization that looks beyond programs and policies to create a culture that values flexibility. Also, women should help women in the workplace. Throughout my corporate career, it is very infrequent in my observation that women are helping women. As a woman, we should change the approach in the workplace, helping one another is a supreme initiation.
As per the study, working mothers can be great leaders and can bring unique skills to the leadership role. Motherhood prepares every woman to take up challenges she will face as a business leader. Challenges are many for working mothers in their respective workplaces. It is very common in workplaces perpetuating the idea that mothers do not work as hard as their peers and are incapable of managing families and work responsibilities, also less dedicated to their careers than fathers. Many believers strongly follow the taboo of not assigning leadership positions to mothers because traditionally, movers and shakers would be defined as people who work long hours.
Mothers cannot work long hours mostly, so they are counted as unproductive in contempt of norms and cultural mindset. Whereas mothers are more stimulating or skills in time management. Any kind of prenotions is the creator of an unhealthy work culture. It is vastly true that women employees cannot be that flexible like male employees, but it does not exhibit their less dedication towards the organization. Eventually, they become more committed or dedicated as they need to complete the assigned task within a stipulated time. Here is the time to burn out the traditional organizational method to emerge into new trends or opportunities bestowed by Coronavirus Pandemic where leaders could take the opportunity to give their employees more control and hopefully discover that they can trust them to manage their own schedule. Meanwhile, organizations may embrace home or flexible working methods and carry on with new experiments about different ways of working………!!!
All leaders can think about it.