We have homeschooled, taken walks, taken more walks.
We have shushed our kids while on Zoom. Handed them a device.
We have cried for the loss of childhood. The loss of life. The loss of time. The loss of space.
We have stared numbly at screens, at walls and have introduced new family members through panes of glass.
Mothers have taken time off of work, left on vacation, and for some - they have just left. They are calling it 'the great resignation' but in reality, it is just society's failure to support women.
I didn't leave my job. I was forced to choose between my children or my struggling business. School closures, daycare fees, no family support on top of the fact that 1.5 million women lost their jobs in the first two months of the pandemic.
As we weaved in and out of lockdowns we were left with no after-school care, no backup support, and no options. School is done at 3PM. Work is done at 6PM and for all of the workers who do not have the luxury of working from home, this has been impossible.
Worst of all, the rhetoric streaming out of people has been alarming and heartbreaking.
Protestors outside of hospitals screaming at healthcare workers who have committed their lives to helping people.
A government hell-bent on privatizing the public education system and a healthcare system that has been built on the underpaid labour of female employees. Nurses, teachers, midwives and registered healthcare professionals – the heroes of our pandemic and the key to supporting society – have been fought in court, strapped by legislation to keep their wages frozen and then marked as having an 'absenteeism' problem as they struggle to stay afloat.
This is not a women's problem. This is not a public systems problem. This is a problem with how society values women.
A society that values us should not support:
- Bill 124 which caps nurses' wages and prevents their union from negotiating.
- The dismantling of our public education system. Underfunded, undervalued and underappreciated.
- A government that is appealing a decision AGAIN - that midwives are systemically underpaid. Using our tax money to fight the very women who protect us as we bring our babies into this world.
There are many ways to support women in 2022 and help them return to the workforce. Women have stepped up to support our society through this pandemic and we will need support in return. Support from the government and progressive employers who are willing to do things differently, such as offering:
- Part-time jobs as daycare and school continue to be a challenge.
- Job shares – to give employees more flexibility in their schedules.
- Retraining programs – to support those permanently displaced to transition into new roles
- A women's grant program for employers – similar to the Canada Summer Jobs Grant. Providing subsidies to employers to hire women for up to six months with a focus on women who have been displaced or have career gaps. This would create enough stability to help women secure childcare and prioritize the 1.5 million women impacted to fill current labour shortages.
- Permanent paid sick leave
- More flexible parental leave provisions for self-employed and those who wish to work during their maternity leave without penalty – helping women stay connected to their employers (if they wish) and further reducing labour shortages.
Moms at Work has stepped up for women by offering:
- A Job Board that requires transparency;
- A Talent Collective to connect employers with mid- and senior-level candidates from our community;
- The world's first and best training program to support parents on parental leave;
- Courses and resources to help women land their next job and earn more; and
- A safe, online community and coaching program where we are helping create the next generation of leaders in business and the workplace. We are the change - let us help you level up.
We have helped our members collectively earn over $2 million in salary increases in 2021. Pay transparency legislation is well underway. EI reform is happening and our parental leave program is in beta testing at the moment. So what is next for us?
So many things.
If you are reading this and you would like to collaborate with Moms at Work, hire our community members, create opportunities to attract and retain female talent, or if you have another idea, please reach out to allison@thisismomsatwork.
We are making waves but we cannot do this alone.
Allison Venditti founded Moms At Work the world's first professional association for working mothers. Committed to developing the next generation of leaders and helping women earn more money, grow their careers and do it on our own terms. Kindness, collaboration, and focusing on building new tables as opposed to making space at the existing ones.