Every now and then something comes across my desk that restores my faith in humanity, and things feel bright and… possible, again. Today, that “thing” was something that company Fifth Third Bank has implemented that is making waves throughout the corporate atmosphere. It’s called Maternity Concierge.
Most of my readers are women who have children, so I’ll be in good company when I say that often times, making the choice to become a mother is much more complicated than it may appear on the surface. For many women, the journey to motherhood means having to decide whether they’re willing to give up their careers or not. This is because of several factors, ranging from the cost of childcare to the gender pay gap and the unfair biases that surround executives’ decisions regarding the promotion of women and mothers. It becomes this sort of mathematical equation or clever strategy that has to be devised when, in fact, it should only be as difficult as determining whether or not we are capable of doing our jobs well.
It will come as no surprise to most of us that when it comes to families, women do far more of the unpaid work than their male counterparts. Unpaid work is everything, from cooking to cleaning to caring for the baby. All of this, on top of the career tasks, requires women to work harder, longer hours and often for less pay. It’s exhausting.
Fifth Third Bank is quite the anomaly in the corporate world, as 60% of their employees are women. Perhaps that contributes to such a forward-thinking policy. They realized that many of their valued employees were mothers or soon-to-be moms, and decided to meet the unspoken demands. Maternity Concierge is a business that will take care of almost anything mothers need, with the exception of transporting children or pets. They will buy groceries and put them away for you. They will even help plan birthday parties! Their mission is to eliminate the activities that occupy time which would otherwise go towards other life and work activities. It sounds amazing!
A program and service like this is near and dear to my heart because many women like myself opted to continue working after we became mothers. While my path has been an entrepreneurial one, I’ve heard several stories from friends about the prejudices they’ve faced in the workforce simply because they were moms. I’ve watched women lie to bosses or on interviews about being pregnant because they know it would put them at a disadvantage in the eyes of a company. To see a company like Fifth Third Bank recognize that women are capable, intelligent beings who actually work harder because they are mothers, not in spite of the fact, brings such joy to my heart.
I say it all the time, and I mean it. Moms are the toughest humans I know. We work hard to keep things together in our homes, and then we show up with excellent work performance in our careers. I’d say that’s something every company should value and celebrate. Great job, Fifth Third!