What 6 CEOs are doing to support working parents

In a new survey of working parents, household advantages startup Cleo discovered that in practically 50% of households, at the very least one mother or father had taken a step again of their profession through the pandemic—whether or not that meant slicing again on hours or leaving their job altogether. These challenges have extra acutely impacted working girls, who have a tendency to shoulder the vast majority of caregiving and childcare obligations. Amid the rise of the Delta variant and the uncertainty round college reopenings, balancing full-time work with caregiving is no less challenging now than it was 18 months in the past.

We talked to six CEOs at firms which have adopted hybrid or absolutely distant fashions, partly to be extra inclusive of working parents. Right here, they share among the different issues they’re doing to assist accommodate parents—and working girls, specifically—because the pandemic continues:

Kasey Edwards, founder and CEO of Helpr:

Childcare belongs alongside imaginative and prescient and dental in the advantages bundle. The care breakdowns we noticed on account of COVID-19 weren’t contemporary or distinctive; they occur every single day for working households.

Our providers at Helpr are international, so we all know we’ve got to keep robust at house to assist make house to support our caregivers world broad. We’ll keep in our house workplaces working towards flex work with a number of backup take care of the staff and support our international employers with protected, equitable, and sensible youngster and grownup care.

In the course of the pandemic we expanded our coverage to 100 hours of backup care by way of our Out Of Community care support, and can apply flex work indefinitely.

Bianca Padilla, cofounder and CEO of Carewell:

We transitioned to being absolutely distant so our staff might be shut to household, whether or not which means younger youngsters or getting older parents. Certainly one of our staff has a brand new child who ceaselessly joins Zooms from her mother’s lap. As a substitute of attempting to conceal the truth that there’s an toddler in the home, we’re all messaging her to put her daughter on digicam so we will see her. This was an organization really shaped for households, by a household.

I by no means need anybody to really feel dangerous about saying “I’ll be offline for just a few hours at the moment as a result of my youngster has a play in school.” COVID has blurred the road between work and “life.” I don’t need to provide work/life stability, as a result of that insinuates that one of many two is struggling or that there’s a pure imbalance. I would like to provide work/life integration. I rent sensible individuals who get their work finished and do it rather well—whether or not that’s from behind a desk or in a hockey area watching their child’s sport. All of us have lives and households, so we’re versatile and permit individuals to work when and the place it makes essentially the most sense for them.

Li Haslett Chen, founder and CEO of Narrativ:

We’re constructing a piece tradition that focuses on outcomes versus hours labored or assembly time. This allows all staff, together with working moms, to have the flexibleness to stability all their priorities and calls for on their time. So far as advantages, we began offering (and can proceed to present post-pandemic) staff with a $500 stipend after they begin at Narrativ, as well as to a $50/month profit to assist handle the distinctive calls for of working remotely. Our remote-first mannequin additionally provides working parents extra flexibility to stability childcare, and we additionally provide 12 weeks paid parental go away and beneficiant contributions towards profit protection for households.

Sara Mauskopf, CEO and cofounder of Winnie:

One of many largest causes our work atmosphere is so interesting to parents is the flexibleness we provide our staff. It’s very regular at Winnie to have youngsters pop into video calls and for workers to block time on their calendar for daycare drop-off. We additionally use our personal product to support our mother or father staff of their childcare search. Every of the founders has three younger youngsters and many individuals on the staff are parents. When staff want to discover new youngster care preparations, we be certain they’ll achieve this simply with Winnie and if not, we use that for instance to make our product higher for all parents.


Sarahjane Sacchetti, CEO of Cleo:

I’ve continued to see discussions round returning to “regular” and going again to the way in which issues have been. The fact is that if we return to a pre-pandemic state for working parents, we’ve failed. Corporations shouldn’t be aiming to return to because it was pre-pandemic. The pandemic highlighted disparities and points which have existed for hundreds of years, together with the dearth of employer-led support for working parents, lack of variety amongst management groups, and extra. Employers that are eradicating the support they granted through the pandemic (from distant work to expanded backup care subsidies) ought to anticipate a mass exodus within the coming months as their staff search out workplaces that lend complete and holistic support to their mother or father communities.

At Cleo, our concentrate on offering holistic, personalised advantages for working parents impacts not solely our workforce, however working parents throughout the globe at firms like Pepsi, Salesforce, Pinterest, and extra. We’re dedicated to making a significant dent in fixing the longstanding hole in employer-led support for working parents, and our inner efforts replicate what we’re encouraging different employers to implement.

We offer support to our staff in quite a lot of methods, together with: a tradition of flexibility and embracing the realities of parenting at each degree—executives normalize caring for his or her households, from choose up and drop off, to actual time parenting or house education; entry to all the advantages and providers we gives our Cleo members; free membership to UrbanSitter, Ginger, and Headspace; youngsters’s programming—parents and their youngsters can be part of for story time with the authors by way of Zoom; and versatile PTO so we will use the time we want after we want it, plus a tradition the place leaders encourage and anticipate staff to take break day.

Carolyn Childers, CEO and cofounder of Chief:

Supporting girls executives is foundational to what we do. From our inception, we made positive that our office insurance policies have been designed for girls. We provide a 12-week parental go away coverage that’s absolutely paid by Chief — not by insurance coverage subsidies. As an worker at Chief, you don’t have to pay into an FMLA or incapacity insurance coverage so as to take your parental go away. The period of time that you’ve got labored at an organization shouldn’t decide when you could have youngsters. Moreover, understanding that there’s a extreme drop-off in girls re-entering the workforce after having a toddler, we offer a versatile, self-designed return-to-work onboarding program with an govt coach. Our well being, imaginative and prescient, and dental protection is absolutely paid by Chief for workers and dependents with zero premiums.

In the course of the pandemic, as well as to insurance policies, we’ve tried to be empathetic and supportive as a lot as doable. We’re clear with workers that there’s completely no penalty for prioritizing childcare when wanted, and our senior leaders are modeling that. I’m simply as used to working with my cofounder Lindsay as I’m along with her five-year-old, Max. We’ve made positive that hours might be versatile, workers is supportive, and that we’re all the time accessible to focus on any insurance policies or particular person wants that parents have had over the pandemic.

We plan on persevering with to try this as we alter to the longer term work atmosphere. Parenting and working has by no means been a straightforward stability, and whereas it grew to become extra obvious over the past 12 months, we intend to proceed to be considerate about how we support our workers who’ve youngsters and caregiving obligations.