On April 19, 2018, a tiny newborn made American history.
Sen. Tammy Duckworth carried her 10-day-old daughter, Maile Pearl Bowlsbey, into the Senate chambers in Washington, D.C., a remarkable break with the Senate’s usually stuffy rules of decorum that had been amended to allow Duckworth to bring her baby to work with her.
It was a watershed moment highlighting a reality faced by working mothers around the world. How can they provide for the needs of their new family while also maintaining their careers, which are vital to keeping their family afloat?
Here at Flint, we’re proud to help new moms maintain their careers by providing a dedicated mother’s room, offering ample leave time options and by allowing infants to join their moms in the office.
Melissa Reichert, a public relations strategist, is one of our new moms at Flint. Her son, William, was born Dec. 1, 2017.
Melissa says she appreciates the mother’s room in Flint’s Fargo office, which was recently upgraded to be a bit more comfortable using a $500 mini grant from Fargo Cass Public Health. The mother’s room in our Duluth office was upgraded at the same time.
“In a work environment that has a lot of collaborative working space, I have my own private oasis,” Melissa says. “While its allowing me to keep on the path of having a breastmilk-fed child, the new mother’s room at Flint is letting me also take a needed mental break.”
Even though Melissa has an office, she says the mother’s room is a getaway where she doesn’t have to worry about interruptions from co-workers.
Flint’s commitment to mothers is ongoing. Last fall, we acquired certification through the North Dakota Department of Health that recognizes the support we give moms to help them maintain work-life balance.
This spring, we were thrilled to see a renewed commitment to new mothers from the City of Fargo and Fargo Cass Public Health, which started an incentive program for businesses interested in becoming infant-friendly workplaces and free classes for new mothers.
It’s a natural fit for us. Seventy-one percent of our employees throughout our organization are women and over 60 percent of them are mothers. Women comprise most of our leadership. In 2017, we had eight pregnant women throughout our organization, and we average two pregnancies a year at Flint.
“I think what we really needed to do was to just say it out loud that we are open to mothers bringing their babies to work,” says Danielle Woodard, Flint Group’s director of human resources. “I’m super proud to be part of this organization that has such strong women in leadership that support each other.”
Flint also offers our new moms several options for paid leave to help smooth out the transition for their expanding families and the flexibility to work from when needed.
We encourage our fellow businesses to look at their policies around new moms and their babies and help support them.