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Wonder Women Wednesday: Supporting Mums Back To Work At AND Digital

28 June 2017 | Debbie Martin | About a 2 minute read
Tags: childcare, Culture, maternity, mother, mothers, mum, mums, policies, support, working mums


Earlier this year we decided to relook at a number of our employee policies – make sure they were addressing the needs of our people and were written in an accessible way that matches our culture at AND Digital.

One policy in particular that we felt we could do better was our Maternity Policy. We previously had a fairly run-of-the-mill policy – X pay for a short period of time and Y pay for the remainder of the time, etc…

Being a mother myself and speaking to other working Mums, we all reflected that actually the Maternity leave is the straightforward bit, what we found really hard was coming back to work. Not only is it common for Mums to experience a lack of confidence after 12 months away from the workplace and being left behind by their peers, but also the financial burden of childcare can be inhibitive to returning to work.

As a Management Team we agreed that we want to support women to have this vital time off, AND it is especially important to us that we support and encourage women to come back to work again after their Maternity Leave.  We highly value the diversity we have at AND Digital and recognise it as something that makes us stronger as an organisation.  

Therefore, given our desire to encourage and support women to return to work after maternity leave, and the experience of numerous women who are held back by confidence and cost constraints, we decided to adopt a two prong approach.

  1. Practical support – we are now offering coaching to all women returning to work after Maternity Leave (this coaching is also available to any Dads that take six months’ or more shared parental leave). We will partner with specialists in maternity coaching to help our women anticipate and feel prepared for the challenges they may face as a working Mum.
  2. Financial support – childcare is not cheap. The government offers some support, but the local provisions won’t necessarily match your working pattern and nursery or nanny fees quickly add up. In addition (let’s be candid here) you may not fit into any of your work clothes any more. It’s a hard realisation that you need to invest in something that isn’t pyjama bottoms and vomit-stained t-shirts. Feeling confident as you step back into the work environment is a big part of the return being successful for Mums and their organisations. Therefore we are providing financial support in the first month of returning to work to take away these concerns and make the balance more feasible.

 

These and other elements of our Maternity policy aren’t rocket science, and we aren’t offering vastly generous benefits like 12 months Maternity leave on full pay.  But what we hope we have done is understand the needs of our women and the challenges they face and address them in a way that both enables and incentivises a return to their successful career at AND Digital.

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