The role leaders can play in helping new parents return to work

How can leaders and organisations better support new parents as they return to work? Bridget Thakrar shares some ideas from her team at South East Water. 

When I returned to work seven months after the birth of my first child, I was anxious. All around me were stories about how returning to work had gone spectacularly wrong — and not just because I work in people and culture. My council-appointed parents’ group was the perfect microcosm of what it’s like for parents, particularly mothers, returning to the workforce after having a baby.

Their stories were varied but there was a theme to how these new parents felt after interacting with their employers: they felt like they were an annoyance and an inconvenience, like the organisation was doing them a favour even consulting about their post-baby roles and working conditions.

I wonder why some leaders and organisations have such a fixed mindset when it comes to thinking differently about how work can work? If as a society we understand and expect that business is no longer conducted Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm (recognising that some roles are more inherently flexible than others), then why do so some leaders still believe this is the only option for work? Read more

Bridgett Thakrar - SmartCompany - 24 August 2018

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