"We want to practice what we preach, and normalize a reality where having children and advancing your career are not mutually exclusive."
New parents know the struggle that comes with leaving the baby for the first time just so they can go back to work. It’s a bit sad but it’s really necessary and so in most cases a relative, or a nanny has to stay behind to watch over the child while the father, the mother, or both of them reports to the office.
One company, however, is changing that – much to the delight of their employees. Starting January 8 of this year, the Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa officially began allowing their workers to bring their babies in the workplace every day – at least for the first 6 months.
As CEO Beth Wood Shelton shared in a lengthy Facebook post:
“This new policy allows all new parents the option to bring their infants to work with them every single day, up to 6 months, upon returning from paid parental leave. We want to practice what we preach, and normalize a reality where having children and advancing your career are not mutually exclusive….
“We know that parenthood doesn’t change the skills, dedication and experiences that we so highly value in our people. We want to support women who choose to nurse, and support babies in a developmental period of importance.”
Being the mother of 3 children, Shelton is certainly speaking from experience and says she understands “the impossible juggle of work and life.” So when a pregnant employee suggested the idea, she immediately took action.
Shelton eventually launched the new “Infants at Work” program to help “ease the transition of new parents, including guardians, back into work following the two months of paid leave the company already offers,” a report said.
Of course, the CEO is aware that babies can be disruptive and the productivity of the parents may be affected. Despite that, she says they have “developed policies about the ‘hows and wheres’ of who can hold babies (other staff who volunteer to be a designated support person) and where crying is welcomed (a designated parent & baby room).”
“I have the enormous responsibility of maintaining the financial and operational sustainability of an organization. But I also bear the responsibility to be the voice of equality, to recognize and seek solutions to the issues that women face in life and the workplace. Sometimes this balance takes innovation to ensure our mission informs our operations, not the other way around.”
Shelton’s post has since gained a lot of positive comments and reactions on social media, with many netizens commenting that they hope more companies would emulate the example set by Shelton.
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