Millennial women are the most highly educated, ambitious generation of women ever, and companies know that. Here's how businesses are getting creative to attract young moms -- and how you can get in on it.
When you welcome a new baby into your life, your career might play second fiddle for a while. But whether you're returning to work or never left the workforce, you want a job that fits your new circumstances. So how do you find the best jobs for moms? It's easier than you'd think. Not because millennial parents are easy to please, but because companies are eager to accommodate their needs.
Here are five job essentials that millennial moms are looking for and how hiring managers are accommodating them.
- Flex Hours
Dr. Jean Twenge, Ph.D., is a professor of psychology and author of "The Impatient Woman's Guide to Getting Pregnant." She says that companies are taking note that, "More than any other generation, millennial women want it all. Flexible hours at work, at home and in childcare."
Flexibility is priority number one, but it doesn't just mean working from home -- many moms are willing to take quick calls during playtime or will fire up the laptop after the kids have gone to bed. Hiring managers are embracing that agility, particularly with workers who have proven themselves. If you've already established yourself as a ninja in the office, you'll be more likely to get approval for working outside the 9-to-5 norm.
Need help deciding on appropriate child care? Check out these pros and cons of nannying and day care.
- Work That Makes a Difference
The best jobs for moms are at companies that are evaluating how they make a difference in the world, and then going out of their way to prove it. Work is no longer a 9-to-5 grind; it's an opportunity to improve or even save lives. Tom's of Maine, for example, doesn't just donate 10 percent of its profits to charity, it lets its employees decide where that cash goes. "Millennials want to know their work is making a difference," says David Stillman, who analyzed how different generations have viewed work in his co-authored book, "When Generations Collide." Stillman's comments are echoed by a report by the University of North Carolina's Kenan-Flagler Business School. The report, "Maximizing Millennials in the Workplace," cites a study in which 30 percent of surveyed millennials say meaningful work is an important job factor, compared to 28 percent citing high pay.
- Beyond Day Care: "Everything" Care
The more your family expands, the more doctors, dentists, hairstylists, therapists and dietitians there are to consult, and you don't have time for them all. Software developer SAS knows this. The company, which has won more than 40 "Great Places to Work" awards, has an on-site beauty salon, fitness center, health care clinic and pharmacy for employees and their families. Workers don't need to set foot off campus until it's time to clock out. If that's not enough, they also offer free classes during work hours on everything from caring for aging parents to co-parenting and having difficult conversations with your teens.
- Breastfeeding Support
As a nursing mom, you're not just allowed a clean, quiet place to pump at work: You're entitled to it. Companies know that a healthier baby at home means less absenteeism from working parents, so they understand that the recent Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act laws outlining this have multiple benefits.
Is your boss a little timid about the pumping subject? Ease him into the topic by introducing him to Mutual of Omaha's decision to turn two clutter-collecting office areas into lactation rooms. Complete with relaxing decor and mini-fridges for milk storage, the areas are designed to keep moms productive while breastfeeding.
- Bonding Bucks
Twenty-five years ago, your parents got flowers or a card from the boss when the stork dropped you off. But today, tech giant Google is leading the way in easing the stress of having a new baby in more tangible ways. Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube -- which is owned by Google -- recently wrote about the company's impressive policy of 18 weeks paid maternity leave. What's more, as revealed by Deborah Perry Piscione's book, "Secrets of Silicon Valley," Google offers "baby bonding bucks" -- a $500 bonus to be used for laundry, cleaning and other household chores that can be tricky with a new baby.
Bethany Johnson, a professional writer from Washington, D.C., specializes in the quirks of family life and relationships. When she's not writing, Bethany and her husband raise both free-range chickens and free-range children on their organic farm in the suburbs.