PALO ALTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A survey of 320 moms has revealed the shocking realities that these women are facing due to COVID-19. Conducted in September 2020 by Milk Stork, the survey was created to understand how the pandemic has impacted the lives of mothers as they juggle the demands of parenthood, distance learning, child care, household chores, and their careers. The survey also highlights the “urgently needed” benefits that employers can provide in order to keep these valuable employees from leaving the workforce.
The survey reveals that close to three out of four (74.38 percent) of respondents have considered quitting their jobs in the last six months due to the stress of working parenthood. That signals that of the 23.5 million employed women with children, the U.S. workforce could be at risk of losing more than 17.6 million working mothers unless employers make significant changes to address the unique issues that working mothers are facing.
More shocking takeaways from the survey include:
Child Care Burden
One major issue working mothers are struggling with - both emotionally and financially - is child care. Many parents (26.88 percent) are sending their children to on-premise child care and/or having family members step in to ease the burden (63.13 percent), but this puts their children, elderly relatives, and those with compromised immune systems at risk. And financially, child care costs are making working motherhood barely a break-even proposition. The survey revealed that 66.56 percent of respondents have child care expenses that are the same or higher than their housing costs (mortgage/rent). A shocking 45.94 percent report that their monthly child care costs are the same or higher than their net earnings. In other words, working mothers are quite literally paying to go to work.
Despite an increased workload at home, employers are demanding more of their working moms than they were prior to the pandemic. According to the survey, 62.19 percent say their work hours have increased, 74.06 percent say their workload has increased as the pandemic has progressed, and 84.38 percent of working mothers are frequently working at night to “catch up” (in fact, 60 percent are working every week night). In addition, 47.2 percent are spending three or more hours a day on distance learning - not to mention time spent on household chores and other child-focused activities, such as meals/feeding, bedtime, helping with homework, etc.
Finding time for stress relief and self-care has always been an issue for parents - whether they work or stay at home - but the reality for mothers has become increasingly alarming since the onset of COVID-19. Survey results show that 49.2 percent of respondents get one hour or less to themselves each day - this includes showering, exercise, etc. Only 6.9 percent are getting eight hours of sleep a night, and 65.6 percent are getting six hours or less of sleep a night.
Survey respondents identified the following as the top three “urgently needed benefits”:
- Child care
- Parental leave (defined as leave for parents with children of any age providing the ability to work reduced hours at full pay)
- Mental health and stress reduction programs
In order to address these critical issues and to help employers support and retain their working moms, Milk Stork is making it easy for employers to provide working families with the benefits they need, when they need them. Milk Stork for Employers offers several plans that enable companies to pick and choose from a comprehensive suite of practical, best-in-class solutions in the areas of lactation, child care, telehealth and fertility. Recognizing that employees’ needs are diverse and there is no one-size-fits-all solution, these services are pay-per-use and can be implemented with a simple click.
Milk Stork is proud to help employers build a robust family benefits plan in collaboration with its Flock:
A full suite of lactation services to support breastfeeding moms. In addition to hospital-grade pumps, Milk Stork can recommend how best to support your employees with help from the providers below:
- Lactation Lab
A variety of childcare and enrichment solutions to support the varying needs of families and dispersed employee populations with help from these providers.
Virtual care, ensuring that families have virtual support starting at conception through these providers.
- Ovia Health
And, fertility benefits to help aspiring parents build their families with support from
“Now more than ever, working moms and families need support, but when it comes to areas like childcare, lactation, telehealth and fertility, there isn’t a single benefits package that's going to work for everyone. For example, a mom of a toddler and an infant in the Bay Area has very different child care needs than a mom of school-aged children in Boise. Also, if 2020 has taught us anything, it's that families’ needs can literally change overnight,” said Kate Torgersen, founder and CEO, Milk Stork. “Our new family benefits platform enables employers to click and pick the right benefits for their employees and onboard them instantly. Recognizing that different employees are facing different challenges, our Flock of benefits is based on simple plans and pay-per-use utilization so employers can offer a variety of solutions while only paying for what their employees use.”
To learn more about Milk Stork and its Flock of services, please visit https://www.milkstork.com/employers.
About Milk Stork:
Milk Stork was launched in August 2015 as the first-ever breast milk shipping company for moms who needed a simple solution for getting their breast milk to their babies back home. Working mom made, and made for working moms, Milk Stork supports more than 749 corporate partners who provide the service to their employees as an employee benefit, including Hilton, SAP, Pinterest, Nissan, and Home Depot. In February 2019, Milk Stork was awarded Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies Award in the Travel category for its unparalleled commitment to supporting working, traveling moms. In May 2020, Milk Stork launched its MotherShop™, a curated collection of innovative and unique parenting essentials that were created by moms with moms in mind. For more information on Milk Stork, visit www.milkstork.com and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.