At some point in your professional career, you might have felt guilty, inferior or even embarrassed when your role as a mom took priority over your job. You might have even overcompensated for it by staying at the office too late, being overly accessible or reluctantly passing off parenting duties to a partner so you could get a little extra work done on a weekend.
The thing is, though, there is absolutely no reason you should feel obligated to “make up” for being a mom because it is not your professional weakness, it is your superpower that can help bring the company success.
In the past year, The Mom Project surveyed more than 500 professional women to learn about the impact moms have in the work environment. Specifically, we wanted to know if there was anything that set moms apart from their non-mom peers in roles of leadership. As it turned out, employees with a manager or CEO who is also a mom are substantially more satisfied in various aspects of their careers than those without.
Three areas where the impact of mom-leadership stood out the most were organizational culture/work environment, job satisfaction, and employee loyalty. Businesses have to rely on each of these areas in order to grow and be successful, and it appears as though that the more moms they have employed, the more successful the company will be.
A work environment and culture are made up of a lot of different components and can sometimes hang in a delicate balance. One not-so-great employee has the potential to spread negativity and turn a once-happy workplace into one full of grouchy workers.
While creating and maintaining a positive work culture requires more than just creating a team of thoughtfully chosen leadership, managers and senior staff play a big role in how employees view their work environment. According to our research, employees with mom-managers feel communication among their team is stronger than those whose managers are not moms and mom-managers are favored 15%+ more than non-mom managers for fair treatment among members of the team. Additionally, 81% of mom-managers are rated favorably for encouraging collaboration and more than 81% of women say their mom-manager is approachable.
This goes beyond mom-managers, too. In companies where the CEO is a mom, 80% of female employees report that diversity and inclusion are a high priority at the organization whereas only 58.5% of female employees say the same about their CEO who is not a mom.
Simply working with peers and colleagues who are moms also makes a difference in workplace culture. Women with mom-colleagues report a 23% more positive overall workplace experience than those without mom-colleagues.
How this affects a business
While a positive workplace culture is beneficial to the company’s employees, it’s also beneficial to the business itself. A 2017 study by Glassdoor found that changes in a company’s culture had a direct effect on its stock market performance. They discovered a strong correlation between a company’s stock return based on whether its overall employee reviews on the site were positive compared to those with declining ratings.
In addition to enjoying the people you work with and for, enjoying your work and your overall experience in the workplace is equally as important. If our research tells us anything, it’s that if a company wants to improve employee job satisfaction then they would benefit from adding a few more moms to their leadership team.
Based on responses in our survey, mom-managers are favored 18% more for caring about and prioritizing their employees’ well-being than non-mom managers. Additionally, they’re rated 15% more favorably for fair treatment of employees and two-thirds of women employees say their mom-managers enhance overall team morality. Finally, women with mom-managers are more likely to report that their experience in their role exceeds their expectations of the job.
How this affects a business
Once again, happy employees create successful organizations. The higher the job satisfaction, the lower the turnover rate, which means less time is spent having to recruit, onboard, and train new employees resulting in higher productivity.
Employee loyalty looks different today than it did 30 years ago, but it’s still a commodity to an organization. According to our research, companies who hire moms across all levels of the company are more likely to create a sense of loyalty in their employees.
Based on the survey, 25% of women say they’re more likely to stay with their current employer for the next five years if their CEO is a mom. Also, 35% of women are more likely to stay with their current employer for the next five years if they have mom colleagues and 40% are more likely to stay for the next five years if their boss is a mom. Finally, 22% of women without mom colleagues say they’re more likely to leave their current employer in the next year.
Employing moms not only improves employee loyalty, but it can also result in high-quality job candidates. According to our survey, women with colleagues and/or managers who are moms are 27% more likely to recommend their company as a great place to work. Job seekers are much more likely to apply for jobs at organizations with high employee reviews than those without, so the talent pool will be much larger with higher-quality candidates.
How this affects a business
Employee loyalty can have a direct impact on customer loyalty, according to the Harvard Business Review. They argue that loyal employees are more familiar with the business as a whole and better at their jobs and that “long-term employees can serve customers better than newcomers can.” They further explain that since customers don’t interact with top-level executives, they create their bonds with customer-facing employees so if the employee leaves then “the bond is broken” and business is lost.
Moms make a difference
Businesses can create a ripple effect of success by simply employing moms and treating them well. So, the next time you are tempted to respond to an email at the dinner table or you debate skipping your kid’s soccer game to catch up on the work you missed because you had to take them to the doctor earlier in the week, let go of the guilt. Whatever you lack in accessibility or availability as a mom you more than make up for in morality, kindness, encouragement, and all of the other good things that create a positive working environment. You are not a burden on your company; they are beyond lucky to have you.
Join a community that cares
The Mom Project supports women throughout their working motherhood journey. Search for career opportunities with vetted, family-friendly employers, and get access to job search tools, career development resources and a thriving community of moms and allies.