Moms shouldered the brunt of homeschooling, caregiving, chores, and pandemic-related shuffling that happened during the past two years -- this certainly isn’t breaking news. While the reasons for this have been discussed at length, tangible solutions to help moms reenter the workforce have been few and far between. This is especially true for moms of color who have been disproportionately impacted.
Some 13.9 million fewer women will be in the workforce by the end of this year compared to 2019 (while men’s employment is expected to return to pre-pandemic levels). This will continue to have a devastating impact on their income, stress levels, and families. But the job market is at an inflection point as record job openings have left 42 states with more available jobs than people looking for work, according to Pew Research.
While not a one for one, if companies make immediate changes to how they attract, engage, retain, and support working moms, they could take advantage of a massive brain trust and diversity of thought leadership in the market. These are women who are looking to get back to work immediately.
👉 As a leader, if you aren’t thinking about how to engage them in this labor market, your competition most certainly is.
Here are five things companies can implement today that will get working moms and caregivers back into the workforce and organizations benefiting from their skill sets, leadership, and expertise.
1. Take advantage of the extended workforce
It’s projected that by 2023, more than half (52%) of the U.S. workforce will be made up of non-employee labor. What’s more, by 2025, 75% of the workforce will be made up of millennials -- the most diverse group in American history, with 44.2% identifying as “non-white.” The importance of diversity in all areas of your workforce, regardless of how they are employed (full-time, part-time, contract, SOW, IC, gig), is more critical than ever.
Don’t just think about your full-time talent strategies. Partner with organizations that have a deep network of women looking for contract, temp-to-hire, and consulting roles. Make sure they have programs specifically built around supporting working moms, like upskilling and reskilling. Ask them how their network can be engaged immediately and be prepared to move quickly for the right candidates.
2. Hire more women
Sure, this is a no-brainer. But it’s how you find and engage working moms and caregivers that matters. Referrals and networking with organizations that support working moms can open the door to new talent you may not have had access to previously. Be thoughtful with referral programs. Research shows 35% of employees refer to help their friends, 32% do it to help their company, 26% do it to be seen as a valuable colleague. Only 6% do it for money and recognition.
Talk to your suppliers, talent networks, and consulting agencies about company-specific benefits that would be important to working moms, and quickly communicate the key advantages that sets your company apart so they can network on your behalf.
3. Support flexibility in all ways
Flexibility -- be it in the number of hours, remote work, or a hybrid work model -- is something working parents (specifically working moms) have wanted for years. Juggling all the caregiving responsibilities outside of the office has put working moms at a disadvantage for decades, manifesting in unhappy workers, feelings of guilt, burnout, and a strain on their mental and physical health.
Be creative in how you offer flexibility. It’s not just a remote option that works for everyone. Implement “flex days” that can be taken as PTO for emergency care, partner with organizations that have unique childcare options, offer discounts at companies that will help with caregiving for elderly parents -- think outside the box.
4. Shore up your interview process
Today, job seekers are overwhelmed with job options. For hiring managers, HR, and Procurement, speeding up the interview process is proving invaluable for securing top talent.
Whatever internal procedures are standing in the way of an efficient hiring process must be taken out immediately. Remove any barriers to hire like multiple rounds of interviews that can take weeks to result in a hire. Implement remote interviewing, group interviews, and pre-recorded assessments. Shaving even a day or two out of the process can be the difference between securing top talent and missing out.
💡 Did you know that The Mom Project offers UrbanSitter coupons for their talent community to use during interviews?
5. Partner with experts
To shorten the hiring process and take advantage of a network of talented women, partner with companies that do that work on your behalf.
We know you’re used to doing it all, but times, as they say, are a-changin’. Secure partners like The Mom Project that do vetting and skills assessments for you, so by the time a resume reaches your desk (be it virtual or physical), you only need to do a quick call to confirm they are the best person for the role.
What’s more, we have a network of over 550,000 women, men, and allies in our network and 3,000+ partners ready to close the gap in the workforce. We are committed to unlocking more than $1 billion in economic opportunity for moms over the next two years through investments in product development, distribution, and team growth. We recently announced our “Back to Progress” initiative with companies like Amazon, Best Buy, and Etsy who are committed to getting women back to work. We’d love to add your name to this list of growing, impactful companies who are making a difference.
Working moms dropping out of the workforce has had a devastating effect on the economy, families, business, and the future of working women. A report by AmericanProgress.org estimates that the “risk of mothers leaving the labor force and reducing work hours to assume caretaking responsibilities amounts to $64.5 billion per year in lost wages and economic activity.”
The time to act is now.
Whether you ultimately decide to hire a contractor, independent contractor, or employee, The Mom Project can help you find the right talent to fill a critical role. Learn more about The Mom Success Factor and begin your search and hire with confidence.