It’s Monday. You wake up early, make breakfast for the family, and get your kids ready for virtual school while simultaneously trying to start your work day. You balance helping with homework and attending back-to-back meetings, dreaming of downtime to squeeze in a short workout or a few precious moments to yourself. All of this is compounded by pandemic stress and uncertainty.
In the midst of COVID-19, working parents encounter unprecedented pressure, impacting their personal and professional lives. With 1.2 billion children globally who have faced either full or partial school closures, working parents, particularly women, find themselves feeling overwhelmed as they struggle to develop in their career while taking care of their families and managing their households. In September, 865,000 women left the U.S. workforce, four times more than men. In December, the U.S. economy lost 140,000 jobs, and all of them were held by women, reinforcing the gravity of the situation and the devastating loss to businesses and the economy at large.
Public awareness of this situation may be reaching a tipping point. This month, Girls Who Code CEO Reshma Saujani and 50 other women of note penned a letter to President Biden, asking him to make financial relief for working mothers part of his administration’s first 100 days.
Calls to action for the public sector are good, but there is a huge opportunity for the private sector to step up too.
The Opportunity for Employers
Gone are the days where employees abide by the unwritten rule of checking their personal situations at the door. For the first time in our collective history, we now have work, school, and home life all under one roof. The employee experience and caring for the whole person is more important than ever. It’s not just the right thing to do, it is what employers must do — especially for their working parents.
By taking the time to listen and understand employees, leaders can foster smarter, more responsive, and more resilient business environments that make employees feel safe, engaged, and productive. According to Thrive Global, 85% of U.S. employees wish their employer would do more to help them adapt and manage during the pandemic. Parents especially need supportive resources to manage family, wellness, time, and career during this challenging period. This will result in greater engagement, productivity, and overall well-being.
The Back to Best for Parents Program
In recognition of the increasing needs of working parents, SAP SuccessFactors, TIME for Kids, and The Female Founder Collective have joined forces to deliver an exciting, first-of-its-kind program to help parents get back to best. The Back to Best for Parents program brings together special offers, resources, and content to support parents by helping them integrate work and life during this challenging time in our history. While the program is open to all, SAP also wants to help customers close the gap between the real challenges working parents experience and the support they need their employers to provide.
The Back to Best for Parents program delivers tools and knowledge that parents can use. Plus, businesses can extend these resources and a variety of offers to equip and assist the working parents among their employees in addressing challenges across home, career, children’s learning and enrichment, time management, and health and well-being. Over the next month, the program will release feature videos with helpful tips for children and parents, podcasts discussing challenges and solutions for parents and professionals, and specific resources to support the well-being of the whole family.
As a mother of two young children myself, and after countless conversations with SAP employees, customers, and the community, I know that this is a step in the right direction. As leaders, we have a responsibility to do what we can to support the exponential challenges of parenting and care giving in this period of time. The companies that commit to this will be able to have stronger, happier, and more resilient workforces that will pay dividends in the years to come after the pandemic.
Learn more about the curated offers from The Female Founder Collective companies, and if you are an SAP customer interested in the free three-month subscription to TIME for Kids, reach out to SAP.HXM.Offer@sap.com for an offer link that you can share with your employees.
Together, we can empower one another to get back to best and bring our happiest and most productive selves to our jobs and to our families.
April Crichlow is global vice president and head of Marketing for SAP SuccessFactors.