Building Healthy, Family-Friendly Cultures in the Workplace

By: LUMO Leaders

- Publish On: March 3, 2022

Hello mothers and others – 

As the world shifts and changes, the priorities of working parents also shift and change. We know this, because WE are parents – and also because we’re talking to parents and employers each and every day. Parents are choosing to work for companies with healthy, family-friendly cultures – where flexibility is available, where working from home is an option, where they don’t feel like they have to pretend they don’t have kids – and they’re prioritizing benefits like these over pay. These “non-wage” incentives, in many cases, have more value than money. 

The pressure is on employers to take a good hard look at the way they do business, because the old, worn out ways just aren’t going to cut it anymore. 

In fact, as we shared in the “Understanding” section of our “L.U.M.O.” Newsletter header, the recent #ShowUsYourLeave campaign that theSkimm launched in November has brought this conversation front and center. It’s becoming a global call to action from working parents to their companies for better parental leave policies. We’ve been following the hashtag since it started and are inspired and heartened by what we are seeing. Companies are thinking more expansively and inclusively about who they offer leave to, and in the offerings of the leave policies themselves. These now can include financial assistance for adoption, surrogacy, and fertility assistance, as well as bereavement leaves, flexible work options like remote work, job sharing and new parent programs, and parental wellness programs that offer participation incentives. 

These policies also increasingly recognize different kinds of families that have different kinds of family growth experiences such as adoption, surrogacy, and new guardianship. And, while we have a long way to go as a nation, it is damn encouraging that companies are listening to their employees about what matters most to them. It is our hope that this is the early phase of a major tectonic shift in American culture around parenthood toward deeper investment and pride in supporting parent employees. 

This conversation may have you wondering…

What’s our leave? 

As a new company focused on supporting parents in the workplace, we are fully on board with creating a structure that works equally well for employees and the business. Today, we are six mothers with no plans to further grow our families, so as of press time, we haven’t needed a parental leave policy. But as we are growing rapidly, we will soon. And given our whole corporate ethos, you can bet it will encapsulate our core values. What are they?  

  • Possibility      

  • Ownership   

  • Leadership

  • Authenticity 

  • Well-being

  • Joy

These values continue to guide us in the creation of a parent-centered culture, and they guided us in supporting not one, but two of our founders to take a month-long leave of absence over the last year.  We created those leaves in partnership with each of them, in a fully authentic way, ensuring ownership of their job responsibilities and duties, and 100% in support of their well-being – and that of the broader team.  

We are grateful that theSkimm is pulling this issue out into the light of day so it can be part of a larger conversation and inspire companies like us to create leave policies worthy of the amazing humans we’ll be employing. In the meantime, we provide generous paid time off, flexible schedules on a fully remote team, and we encourage our children and partners to “Zoom bomb” because we truly know what it takes to be a working parent. 

Feel free to join the conversation by sharing your company leave policy @ #ShowUsYourLeave.

With love,

The LUMO team

Photo credit theSkimm

LUMO Leaders

LUMO is full of the most passionate people in the parental leave movement. We believe developing a company's most important asset – its people — is key to unlocking success. And you know what? We’ve learned this because we’ve lived it. With a combined 50-plus years of expert experience in employee retention, working parent development, and DEI training, our collective of LUMO Leaders have the tools, insight, and fervor for helping organizations cultivate inclusive culture.

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