With 31% of the workforce currently expecting a child or planning to grow their family, comprehensive family benefits are more important than ever for tech companies to attract and retain top talent. 

Family benefits have only become more important to tech employees in recent years. In a recent survey, 68% of respondents said they would consider switching jobs for better fertility benefits. Family benefits are no longer a nice-to-have offering for tech companies; they are necessary to attract and retain top talent and reduce the industry’s pervasive racial and gender inequities.

The changing landscape of employee benefits in the tech industry

However it may seem, the quest for work-life balance is nothing new. In fact, 75% of boomers and Gen X also care more about their life outside of work, but millennials and Gen Z in the workforce are taking a different approach. More than in-office perks like ping-pong tables and kombucha on tap, younger generations care about flexibility and stability

Nearly 40% of millennial and Gen Z employees have turned down job offers from companies that don’t align with their values. While many companies have made progress in diversity, inclusion, equity, and belonging (DEIB) and sustainability efforts, a 2023 study still found that less than half of the millennial and Gen Z workforce believe business is having a positive impact on society. 

According to Maven Clinic’s annual report, better benefits are essential to attract and retain a high-performing, engaged workforce, especially with younger generations. Gen Z is especially focused on comprehensive family care—including fertility, maternity, and parenting resources—even if they haven’t started their family yet. Especially in the tech industry, companies that don’t offer comprehensive, equitable care risk losing employees to competitors that do: more than 60% of employees are more loyal to their employers if they provide family benefits. 

The importance supporting diversity and inclusion through benefits

Despite making up nearly half of the total workforce, women only hold 27% of STEM jobs and make up only 14% of tech leadership. The gender pay gap also persists, with women in tech earning only 82% what their male colleagues do, and this number is even lower for women of color. 

A 2023 study in the UK revealed that only one in six women with at least one year of tenure in their current tech role planned to stay, and one in four women who leave their tech companies transitioned into non-tech industries. Women consistently herald work-life balance as the main reason they leave their tech jobs, with companies that offer flexible working arrangements boasting lower attrition rates.

Nearly 75% of tech employees report working more than 40 hours per week regularly. Since the burden of care disproportionately falls on women, they experience higher rates of burnout, with 69% of female tech employees reporting symptoms. Tech companies with engaged and supported employees don’t only have better employee retention rates and more productive employees; the companies themselves are more profitable. In the tech industry specifically, studies have shown over and over that diverse and inclusive workplaces are better for business.

To combat burnout and close the tech industry’s gender gap, it is imperative to support working women and families by listening to what they need: Employees are asking for comprehensive women’s and family benefits and flexible work options. 

Maven’s State of Women’s and Family Health Benefits 2024

How fertility, maternal health, and Gen Z are transforming benefits decisions.

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Maven’s State of Women’s and Family Health Benefits 2024

Key components of a comprehensive women’s and family benefits program 

Unsure what family benefits actually encompass? Here are some of the key areas where tech companies can support their employees, leading to higher employee engagement, productivity, and profitability. 

Fertility & family building support

Nearly three in four millennials said they would change jobs for better family and fertility benefits, and 61% reported greater loyalty to their company when provided with these benefits. As tech companies enact better benefit policies, it’s important that fertility benefits are holistic and focus on three important pillars: clinical health, emotional health, and financial health

Clinical health includes covering IVF and IUI procedures, giving employees access to a network of vetted fertility clinics, aiding future fertility through egg and sperm preservation, and providing inclusive and educational resources for employees at every step in their fertility journey. 

Emotional health also extends throughout the family-building journey. Mental health specialists can offer invaluable support to employees facing prolonged infertility, pregnancy loss, and reproductive anxiety. This emotional support is also critical for families going through the often arduous adoption and surrogacy processes. 

Since many fertility paths are expensive, the financial health component includes reimbursement for procedures not covered by insurance as well as financial coverage for adoption and surrogacy. 

Inclusive, end-to-end fertility benefits should also include preconception care and coaching for individuals and families trying to conceive. Additionally, depending on where employees live and work, finding a specialist that offers culturally-humble care can be challenging, especially if they are part of the LGBTQIA+ community. Access to virtual specialists and coaches can help tech employees receive best-in-class care regardless of geographic location.

Maternity and return to work support

In recent years, there has been an exodus of women from the tech industry, and 40% of them share the same reason: the demands of their jobs make it too difficult to balance work and care commitments. In fact, 11% of women in tech don’t return to work after maternity leave due to being fired, made redundant, or forced out. 

Providing holistic support for employees at all stages of their parenthood journeys is the best way to mitigate this attrition. Connecting soon-to-be and new parents with OB-GYNs, doulas, lactation consultants, midwives, mental health counselors, and sleep coaches can help mitigate pre- and postpartum health challenges

Additionally, tech companies can provide return-to-work resources like personalized, on-demand coaching and childcare support to make parents’ transitions back into their jobs more seamless. This care should also begin before an employee takes parental leave, reinforcing job security when they return.  

Parenting & pediatrics support

Many new parents struggle to balance the many responsibilities of work and family and may be looking for additional support. Intentional 1:1 meetings with employees returning to work after parental leave can help get them up to speed with company developments and ensure they feel capable in their roles again. For additional support, tech companies can provide access to specialists who can help working parents achieve a healthier work-life balance

It’s also important for working parents to build community at work with other parents at their company and in the tech industry. An employee resource group (ERG) for working parents can provide resources, community, and support, as can virtual forums where they can connect with peers.

Paid parental leave policies

Flexible return-to-work options for new parents can ease the transition for employees and employers alike. To promote gender diversity and inclusion in the tech industry, companies can offer paid parental leave for new parents of any gender. These leave policies should also include time away for adoption and surrogacy. Many tech companies now provide financial support for adoption and surrogacy as well. 

Childcare and dependent care support

Employees and employers alike are feeling the financial, mental, and emotional impact of the current childcare shortage. Every month, tens of thousands of tech employees miss work because of childcare issues, and many have to change jobs or leave the industry because of it.

To help, tech companies can offer subsidized or on-site childcare facilities. Since only 30% of working parents have backup childcare, employer support can make the difference between employees staying or leaving. Companies can also offer flexible spending accounts (FSAs) for dependent care expenses to help mitigate the high costs of childcare for working parents. 

Mental health benefits

At least one in five new mothers experience postpartum depression and anxiety. By providing access to mental health practitioners who specialize in working with new parents, tech companies can help working parents navigate these big life changes and feel less alone.

Flexible work arrangements

While remote work and flexibility is important for many new parents, flexible work arrangements are imperative to attract and retain millennial and Gen Z talent. Additionally, tech companies can offer alternative schedules and more part-time opportunities to make work more accessible for new parents.

Implementing and promoting your family benefits program

Building a strong communication plan

With nearly half of employees reporting that they don’t fully understand their benefits, a strong communication plan is key. To communicate effectively about available benefits, tech companies should use their various channels—including intranet, email, Slack, social media, office hours, and live Q&A sessions—and also highlight success stories with employee testimonials. Since good benefits are increasingly important to Gen Z and millennial job applicants, be sure to communicate clearly to prospective candidates too.

Fostering a supportive company culture

Almost half of all tech employees feel burnt out, and burnout rates increase dramatically with working parents. To mitigate these issues, encourage leadership buy-in and model healthy work-life balance from the top down. Creating ERGs can help employees find community and share strategies with each other, and ensuring managers have training and resources allows them to spot signs of burnout on their teams and prevent it.

Measuring success and continuous improvement

Once tech companies implement a comprehensive family benefits program, it’s important to evaluate its effectiveness to ensure employees are using the benefits and satisfied with them. Evaluation methods include annual or semi-annual employee surveys, focus groups to gather employee feedback, analyzing usage data, and tracking health outcomes among employees. Benchmark against industry best practices and learn from the tech companies known for their comprehensive benefits and subsequently higher employee retention rates.

How Maven can help tech companies implement effective family benefits

Family benefits are not just good for employees; they are also good for business. Beyond attracting diverse candidates, comprehensive family benefits help to foster a sense of inclusion, belonging, and care. Studies show that diverse and inclusive workplaces see higher revenue growth, more innovation, and better employee retention.

While creating a comprehensive family benefits program can be daunting, Maven can be a valuable partner for tech companies and their employees' family needs. As the leading women's and family healthcare company, Maven provides a suite of benefits to support with fertility and family building, maternity, parenting, and menopause.

To find out more about offering benefits with Maven, request a demo today.

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