The Great Resignation is driving companies of all sizes to reimagine the concept of work. Parents, and especially parents of color, are reconsidering their relationship with the workplace in the face of extreme rates of stress and burnout, contributing to record levels of turnover across corporate America. 

As employers search for new and innovative ways to attract and retain their people, Maven Clinic went directly to working parents to learn about their motivations and expectations in the new world of work. We teamed up with Great Place to Work, the global authority on workplace culture, to conduct the largest-ever survey of working parents.

With responses from nearly 500,000 working parents representing more than 1,700 companies, the report shows how the Great Resignation is impacting parents, and what industry-leading employers are doing to help sustain them through the pandemic and beyond. Read on for three key takeaways, or get your copy of the report here.

1. Burnout is the biggest threat to working parents

When the pandemic began, many working parents had the rug pulled out from beneath them. They were suddenly deprived of their routines and support structures, and forced to juggle remote work, school, and the existential stress of a global pandemic. Last year’s report found that 9.8 million moms were suffering from burnout. This year is no different. 

Why is burnout important? The report finds that it is a leading indicator for attrition, with employees who are experiencing burnout more than twice as likely to leave their jobs.

But burnout isn’t showing up equally amongst employees. Over 20 months into the pandemic, burnout is especially pronounced among mothers of color and young parents early in their careers. The survey found that, compared to white moms:

  • Black moms were 47% more likely to experience burnout
  • Hispanic moms were 23% more likely to experience burnout
  • Asian moms were 33% more likely to experience burnout

Similarly, parents between 26-34 were 200% more likely to experience burnout than older parents, suggesting that traditional support like parental leave is insufficient to support the diversity of needs new parents face. The reality is that the pandemic exposed deep-seated inequities within our society across the board, including how we support our families. 

The result? Parents leaving the workforce, downshifting their careers — or heading to a new company that provides more support.

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2. Working parents need more than just childcare

In the early days of the pandemic, many employers turned to flexible work schedules and child care subsidies in an attempt to support parents rocked by school closures and the collapse of the childcare industry. But our survey found that to attract and retain working parents, employers need to think beyond child care, particularly when it comes to their most senior leaders.

In fact, the report shows that while moms have lower results than dads regarding equity in recognition, promotions, compensation, involvement, and favoritism at all levels, those gaps double as employees move up in managerial responsibilities — and the largest gaps exist between working moms in executive positions and working fathers in similar roles.

Simply put, working moms aren’t realizing the same gains as working dads in terms of salary and benefits as they climb the career ladder. This has significant bottom-line implications. Previous research from Maven and Great Place to Work found that companies that invest in their working parents experience 5.5x the revenue growth of peers. 

To keep women in the workplace, companies need to think beyond child care: they need to reevaluate how their culture incentivizes career growth alongside family life.

3. The Best Workplaces are emphasizing inclusive benefits - and seeing the results

The Best Workplaces for working parents are taking a holistic approach to helping working parents, implementing benefits that make a meaningful difference in their lives, whether they’re aspiring, expecting, or currently raising their children. And consequently, they’re bucking the Great Resignation trend: the report found organizations that were perceived as offering ‘special and unique’ benefits were 2 times as likely to retain parents. Similarly, these companies have a 45% lower rate of working parent burnout.

These special and unique benefits support every path to parenthood, along every step of their journey, from family planning and fertility support to maternity, postpartum, and child care. Compared to the average, top-ranking workplaces are twice as likely to offer fertility support and four times as likely to offer surrogacy coverage. Additionally, more than half offer egg freezing and adoption support.

From retaining to sustaining

Investing in parents and their families is driving results in industries of all shapes and sizes. Industry leaders and market movers are shifting their focus from merely “retaining” parents in the workplace to “sustaining” them — helping them grow both through their careers and through parenthood. Family benefits help employees envision a long-term future with an organization, and knowing they’ll be supported no matter how their family is built inspires loyalty and productivity among this key workforce demographic.

To read the full report, download your free copy today.

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