By prioritizing work/life balance for employees, companies stand to gain more than just increased employee retention and productivity.
A report by Harvard Business Review analyzed data from more than 800 U.S companies over the past 30 years and found that companies with prioritized benefits such as flexible work schedules, family leave, and child care support also saw a significant improvement in the percentage of women and people of color succeeding in their careers and moving into management roles.
Who do these benefits support?
While most employees need work/life support at some point during their career, women, and especially women of color, face the greatest work/life challenges in the workforce.
Because more women are single parents, with 41% of Black single mothers, 25% of Hispanic single mothers, 13% of white single mothers, and 11% of Asian American single mothers as the head of their household—child care support is a top priority when choosing where to work.
Child care costs are rising
Making child care a priority during career decisions becomes even more important when we take into account that according to the findings from our latest Cost of Care Survey, child care has become more expensive over the past year for 63% of parents.
This makes it no surprise that 59% of parents report being more concerned about child care costs now than in years prior, which leads to parents making big changes in their careers, such as:
- 31% of employees reducing their hours at work
- 25% changing jobs
- 21% leaving the workforce entirely
Currently, for all American families, the cost of out-of-pocket child care for two children under the age of 5 is 29% of the median income. For that same child care, these percentages increase to 42% of the median income for Hispanic families, and 56% for Black families. This causes the financial burden of care to fall heavily on families of color.
Statistically, Black women are also nearly twice as likely as white women to quit their job, refuse a job offer, or change their job because of child care problems. If employers want to attract, keep, and promote diverse candidates, it is clear that benefits like child care support need to be part of the solution.
What are employers doing?
Employers have started to provide child care support to their employees through referral services and vouchers. Referral services are the most common type of child care support—offered today by about 40% of all U.S employers and 60% of large employers.
However, while referral services give limited financial help to employees, vouchers for subsidized child care can have a greater impact with employees overall.
What kind of impact did these benefits have?
- Employers that introduced referral services saw the number of managers increase for all four groups of women, as well as for Black, Hispanic, and Asian American men.
- Employers that introduced vouchers saw double-digit increases in the share of Black men and women, as well as Hispanic and Asian American women in management.
Care for Business can take these solutions a step further
Through a partnership with Care for Business, employers can offer their employees access to subsidized benefit programs, like Backup Care, for when regular child and adult care falls through.
As an added bonus, when employers do business with us, their employees also gain access to LifeMart, our discount platform that gives employees access to hundreds of online discounts on child care, senior care, and more.
By offering benefits like Backup Care or our LifeMart program, employers are able to deliver more well-rounded work support that is relevant for a diverse workforce in every stage of life.
Through our Care Specialists service, employees and their families can be matched with an expert 24/7, who will provide 1:1 guidance and support for everything from life’s daily distractions to major life decisions.
Our team of over 100 Care Specialists are capable of researching, vetting, and creating concrete action plans for family challenges like establishing reliable child care, placing an elder into assisted living, or securing financial guidance. We believe that Care Specialists are the solution for real work/life relief for employees, and increased diversity and inclusion for employers.
The bottom line
Harvard Business Review made it perfectly clear. When companies treat work/life support as a normal part of business, they empower a more diverse group of employees to lead fulfilling lives, both at home, and in their career.