According to statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor , women comprise 51.5 percent of all managerial and professional jobs and are estimated to account for 51 percent of the overall increase in labor force growth from 2008 to 2018. Additionally, many of these women are also mothers responsible for the care and well-being of their children. If businesses want to attract and retain female leaders in the office, they need to think outside traditional maternity leave benefits and focus on long-term retention.

Data gathered by the 2016 Modern Family Index highlights some important information regarding women in the workplace. Twenty-six percent of soon-to-be mothers admit they’ve seen working parents in the office compromise their careers, demonstrating that the concept of parenthood often means sacrificing career successes. The data also shows that family-friendly businesses draw the most female talent, stressing the point that if parents don’t feel supported in your office, they’ll seek employment elsewhere. Forty-nine percent of parents who had their first child within the past two years said they would accept a job that paid less in order to be employed at a family-friendly business.

Provide Specific Benefits for Parents

So what can you do to retain leaders and mothers in the office? For starters, businesses can provide more benefits and resources for parents in the office. The Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) 2016 Strategic Benefits Survey discovered that family benefits saw the largest increase, which suggests that businesses are getting more value from this area of benefits. Resources and support can include benefits like sick time flexibility, child care centers, and increased availability of in-office nursing rooms. Making such benefits available is important, but increasing accessibility to such services is also crucial.

Foster Women’s Leadership Skills

Companies should also focus on fostering leadership skills within female workers in the office. Many businesses are choosing to participate in programs that cultivate and advance women’s professional and leadership skills. Sponsorship programs are just one example of how businesses can foster growth in the professional sector, with senior, more advanced executives passing knowledge down to other women, therefore creating more powerful female leaders. Mentorship programs, which focus on peer-to-peer contact and growth, are also a great way to facilitate professional growth throughout women’s professional networks.

There are many ways to go about creating and supporting initiatives to attract and maintain female leaders in the office, but what is crucial for businesses to implement regardless of strategy is the increased offerings of benefits and services for working parents, and mothers.

StaffScapes is Denver’s leading HR, PEO, and payroll resource, helping businesses reduce the stress of handling business offerings such as employee benefits and payroll services since 1996. If you’re looking for help with human resource solutions, contact us today.