08 Sep 5 Ways To Help Mom Get Even With Dad In The Workplace

 Every time women see a piece like “The Motherhood Penalty vs the Fatherhood Bonus,” you can hear a collective sigh of hopelessness. Reading about the intrinsic bias in the workforce, the glorified way in which fathers are perceived at work in comparison to the “flaky” working mothers, gives us a “ no fuel left for this fire” feeling.

But before throwing in your towel, here are five ways you can make it better now:

1. Stay in the Game

When educated professional women stay in the workforce post motherhood, we all win. These are the women with the influence to effect policies and sponsor younger women on the way up. It is nearly impossible to change a system when you are merely looking in the window from the outside.

As a Booz Allen paper explained, “Women’s full participation in the world of work is not merely a social good but an economic necessity.”The paper sites that if American female employment rates matched male rates, the overall GDP would increase by 5%. Staying in the workforce is one of the most selfless decisions a mother can make.

2. Push Paternity Leave as the Norm

When companies have strong parental leave policies, everyone benefits. Yet only 10-15% of American companies offer paid paternity leave. As the New York Times reports, countries with paternity leave incentives have a smaller pay gap.

When New York Met Daniel Murphy and LA Dodgers players Scott van Slyke and Carl Crawford took paternity leave in the last year, they didn’t just help their families by taking leave, they helped to socialize the future we need – one in which paternity leave is the new normal. Encourage it, evangelize it and become a voice for it in your company.

Mitch Jacobs and his son, Bowen

 3. Promote Access to Childcare

The numbers don’t lie. When women have greater access to childcare, they maintain pay parity with men and drop out at exceedingly lower rates. When women have to make the choice between low quality child care and leaving their paying job to stay at home, the system breaks down. Leaving the workforce means giving up current income and an almost guaranteed end to future earning and job potential, setting up these mothers for an impossible future.

When we all have access to childcare, a mother is less likely to need public assistance and the trickle down bounties are enormous. Your male employer, your husband, your brother…they need to hear that our economy thrives with greater access to childcare. It is not a political argument or a gender issue, it is an economic fact for your company and your country.

 4. Don’t Mistake Volunteering for Working

Despite what your return to the workforce dreams will tell you, employers don’t and likely will never count your PA volunteering as career experience. Worse than not helping, it could be used against you. So if you are out of the workforce, parse your volunteering time into two and use half of it to do a project in your area of expertise. There is no substitute for direct industry experience and contacts.

 5. Crack this One Bias at a Time

In case you missed it, feminism is hot. In Beyonce’s world tour, sheposted the word “feminist” in giant letters on her stage and a host ofmale celebrities have recently declared themselves card carrying feminists. People are realizing that feminism simply means equality for women.

So be a feminist in your own world. You have the power to change the bias – in your home, with your brother, with your friends. Don’t wait to hear a comment to make one. And if you do hear a misogynistic comment, snuff it out right away.

Samantha Ettus is a bestselling author, media personality and speaker focused on work/lifestyle management. Connect with her at@samanthaettus.

To read this article on Forbes, please click here.

Samantha Ettus is a bestselling author & corporate speaker. The Pie Life: A Guilt-Free Recipe for Success and Satisfaction will be released in September.