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Covid Supercharged Gender Inequality—But Childcare Benefits Can Help Fix It

As the childcare disparity rages on, it’s becoming more and more impossible for women to perform at their full work capacity and meet childcare demands. Companies can no longer ignore this, and not just because gender pay gap reporting is a measure on which you will be judged. More crucially, the gender pay gap is harming your business.

Businesses that lack family support are hemorrhaging brilliant women from the talent pipeline at every level of seniority. This isn’t a fluffy exercise of setting intentions that make for good sound bytes. As evidenced by McKinsey’s diversity study, companies who prioritised gender equality were 15% more likely to have above-average financial returns.

But why, despite a lot of good intentions, are we struggling so much to improve gender equality in the workforce?

One simple reason: the burden of care. 

Women all over the world are being denied participating in the career they don’t have access to the support needed to be both a mother and employee. They are put in a position where their only option is to slow their careers down or put them on hold.

But there is a better way. By better supporting the parents in your business with flexible working and family-friendly policy, you can actively encourage gender equality in the workforce.

How can we stop the negative trend?

Simply acknowledging that the burden of care disproportionately falls on women is a good start. Flexible working policies and better paternity leave are also known levers when it comes to increasing gender equality.

Here are three steps you can take to make a difference:

Start by acknowledging the fact that childcare has a direct impact on your employee’s performance. Previously childcare has been seen as an invisible web, enabling your people to perform – but things have changed and childcare is not something that should be hidden or ignored. 

Realise that every parent does childcare differently. There are so many variables when it comes to childcare – age of kids, the proximity of grandparents, financial constraints etc. Your best approach as an employer is not to provide advice or guidance, it is to provide access to childcare which can flex to fit every parent’s needs.

Invest in your employees. There is no better way to retain talent and get the best out of your parent staff than by giving them a childcare allowance as part of their benefits package. This delivers more than the simple ROI of hours they are able to work; it powerfully demonstrates you empathise with their wish to be able to work effectively and with focus. It allows parents to be all that they need to be.

Reduce your gender pay gap

Giving your team access to childcare on demand and family support services like work-life balance coaching, is an equally practical and empowering solution. Every parent should feel confident that they’re able to get on with work – without sacrificing family. Parents use Bubble to discover, book and pay for childcare and caregiving help seamlessly, with every sit insured. It allows for trusted childcare to be booked with as little as 30 minutes’ notice – see how it works. Help your team excel at home and at work by getting in touch with us here.









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