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New Study Proves Supporting Working Parents Is Good for Business

New Study Proves Supporting Working Parents Is Good for Business

During a pandemic that has shuttered schools and disrupted childcare arrangements, employees with children need the support of caring leaders and organizations more than ever before.

Thankfully, the Best Workplaces™ are stepping up to provide that support for both working parents and parents-to-be.

And as our new research has revealed, by helping parents, the Best Workplaces are improving their business results through increased innovation, talent retention and productivity.

What’s more, creating a great work experience for parents can bolster a company’s diversity and inclusion, and help to close the gender wage gap.

These are among the findings of a new report, Parents at the Best WorkplacesTM, a joint study between Great Place to Work® and Maven, the world’s largest virtual clinic for women’s and family health.  

The report represents the largest-ever study of working parents, with more than 440,000 parents surveyed at 1,244 U.S. companies.

Great Place to Work released the report in conjunction with the 2020 Best Workplaces for Parents™ list. The new ranking recognizes the 100 companies whose support for parents has stood out during an unprecedented and challenging year for employees with caregiving duties.

Study of working parents – key findings

Investing in working parents is better for business

Companies that invest in employees and their families experience higher levels of innovation and reap significant competitive advantages in employer branding, retention and productivity.

Supporting parents should be core to companies’ Diversity, Equity & Inclusion strategies — yet we often talk about these two priorities separately

Underrepresented racial groups are more likely to be working parents, and they’re more likely to experience burnout:

  • 33% of Black mothers are experiencing burnout
  • 25% of Black fathers are experiencing burnout
  • 25% of White mothers are experiencing burnout
  • 21% of White fathers are experiencing burnout

Mothers are 28% more likely to experience burnout than fathers and are experiencing 2.4 million estimated additional cases of burnout due to unequal demands of home and work.

When companies reduce burnout, their employees are 20 times more likely to stay — but policies need to address the unique reasons for burnout.

Paid parental leave doesn’t just help growing families — it helps close the wage gap and allows parents to bring their best selves back to work

Working mothers lose nearly a month of income on average when supplementing their allotted maternity leave, adding a financial burden to the physical and emotional challenges new parents face. 

Companies with generous leave policies see both mothers and fathers taking more time — ensuring that women don’t leave money on the table and that caregiving is a family affair. 

Benefits shouldn’t start or stop with baby. The best companies are thinking beyond maternity leave to support employees throughout the entire journey of planning and raising a family
  • More than 8 in 10 (81%) of Best Workplaces are providing reimbursement for fertility treatments, and over the past three years, nearly half have increased their coverage

  • Best Workplaces are also offering benefits like telemedicine for pregnant and postpartum families (49% of Best Workplaces), return-to-work career coaching (48% of Best Workplaces), and breast milk shipping (52% of Best Workplaces)

  • They are also supporting their parents' childcare needs by helping them find childcare (78% of Best Workplaces) or backup childcare (56% of Best Workplaces) and offering parent Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) (61% of Best Workplaces)

Amid tough times, the Best Workplaces are proving that it is possible to build a positive employee experience for parents and parents-to-be. And when companies make that investment, their businesses and their employees’ children are better off as a result.

For detailed findings and to learn more about supporting your working parents, read our full report on Parents at the Best Workplaces.  


Ed Frauenheim