Supermoms in the Spotlight: Promoting a Supportive Culture for Working Mothers Success

Last updated 18 May 2023 . 1 min read

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The impossible balancing act of building a robust career while embracing parental responsibilities is one of the key challenges moms across the world face. For those returning from their maternity break, the challenge is to catch up and perhaps even prove themselves again and make up for what is usually perceived as their “lost time” on the job. In India, for instance, several research studies have found out that about 50 percent of working women at the age of 30 leave their jobs to take care of their children. Moreover, only 27 percent of them advance in their careers and continue to be a part of the workforce.[1]


What stops mothers from thriving at the workplace?

When it comes to company policies, organizations around the world have made space to offer work-life balance with flexible work hours and considerable maternity benefits. More recently, the hybrid work model is open to everyone, and even more so for working moms. But an enabling environment goes beyond policy measures. Empathy is key. Understanding the daily professional and personal obstacles mothers face is crucial at the managerial level.  

Factors such as effectively balancing work and personal priorities, dealing with guilt for new mothers, and lastly, managing mental health requirements deeply impact a mother’s approach towards work. The premature exit of women employees from the workforce also impacts the organization’s growth and the economy. To this effect, empowering women in the economy and closing gender gaps in workplaces are considered as key to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 

Taking stock of the current situation, organizations across sectors can play a major role in helping working mothers overcome the challenges. This could be done so that they are encouraged to return to work and achieve career progression based on their merit at the workplace. 


What can organisations do?

Normalizing supportive and nurturing work environments for women to thrive and grow will help in the long term. To attract and retain skilled working mothers, organizations could look at introducing steps such as Returnship programs for those returning to the office after their maternity break. Such a program should promote diversity and boost the returnees' work experience and networking opportunities. During this period, women should be assigned career counselors, engaged in workshops and development plans, and provided extended support for on-job training to ensure a smooth and empowering transition into work. Moreover, increased workplace flexibility, childcare support, and medical benefits should be curated according to the needs of a new-age working mother. 

Providing equitable access to training and development progrbuild confidence and skills among women employees loyees who are seeking to reskill or upskill themselves after a hiatus. As an increased commitment to their women workforce, organizations could build a supportive community in the workplace through resource groups. These could be a good platform for working mothers to effectively voice their concerns and address their challenges. As most working mothers are employees on the cusp of entering into middle-level managerial or leadership roles, mentorship programs could be immensely helpful. Such programs will not only help boost their confidence to scale their careers but also be a medium to provide mental health support for employees. 


Making a difference for working moms 

It takes a lot of determination and personal sacrifice to perform equally well as a mom and corporate woman.  Many a times, when there is a conflict, the former wins over and a young mother is forced to leave the workforce.  As peers, colleagues, and managers we can provide a more conducive work environment for them to tide over this brief period if dilemma.

At Mashreq Global Network (MGN), we believe that working mothers are highly capable of multitasking and handling work pressure, especially when provided the right environment of flexibility, and empathy. We aspire to create a level playing field for working mothers, acknowledging the fact that motherhood and societal expectations can be challenging and overwhelming. One of our main focuses has also been on returning mothers who wish to return to work after a career break through our 'Returning Mother's Programme'. We take immense pride in our progressive approach and policies towards supporting working mothers to foster an inclusive workplace where they can thrive, contribute, and achieve their full potential.


Organisations can really start to make a difference once they realise that working mothers do not need more tips on how to manage work and home more effectively. What they are rather seeking is organisational support that empathises with them and creates an enabling environment to help them combat the challenges of being a working mother in the modern world. 

Mohua Sengupta
Mohua Sengupta, Managing Director at Mashreq Global Network is a digital evangelist. She leads Mashreq’s efforts in building a world class work from anywhere platform for the company globally.

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