Tech has No Space for Breastfeeding Mums
When designing a conference, a mother is bound to think about matters such as a lactation room or pod which is something that someone else would miss. This is due to the fact that women who go back to work soon after maternity or before the end of maternity leave need to express milk for their new-born babies. It is the dream of every mother to breastfeed exclusively for six months as recommended by the doctor. This, however, becomes a major problem when they go back to work due to lack of lactation rooms (Dragan). Some attend conferences, like in the article, and end up stopping breastfeeding their children earlier than required.
Such experiences could lead to large patterns of inequity in the fact that a company might consider it fit to hire a lesser number of women. This reduces the requirement of a lactation room for breastfeeding mothers and it also increases performance since a breastfeeding mother would find time to go and express milk within work hours. Also, breastfeeding is an emotional connection for mothers, and expressing milk also works the same ways (Dragan). A mother stressed by the lack of a lactation room ends up underperforming in the office which could lead to a company considering it more fit to employ male employees rather than females (Dragan). This leads to a male-dominated culture where women, especially mothers, are viewed as lesser people in the work place.
Early weaning is one of the experiences facing women today and they attribute this to an unsupportive working environment. This is due to lack of privacy and care-giving services within or near the workplace. Employers consider bringing children to work as a disruption of productivity hence forcing women to opt for early weaning. Occupations such as sales and administrative support tend to be more challenging as compared to professional women (Dragan) who have the privilege of access to employer-sponsored lactation programs. Mothers are, therefore, left vulnerable by the system which requires them to work just like any other employees yet does not provide for their special needs.
Mothers at Work
According to the article, mothers are viewed as people who would be too busy with their children at home such that it would affect their performance curve. They are considered as people who are antisocial and judged by the time they spend in the office (Zaleski). However, most people do not understand that mothers juggle a lot between their work and their children and still manage to be productive despite the common assumption that they would not be productive. Motherhood and pregnancy is viewed as a liability towards the company, and most bosses might not be ready to give these mothers a chance to prove their value (Zaleski). Commitment to the job is thus weighed against commitment to the family. Consequently, most bosses feel that a mother might not be productive despite the fact that they even arrive at the office before their superiors. The fact that they leave the office early to go and attend to their children seems to be a basis for discrimination since they might not be available to work over time or for socializing with colleagues after work.
One of the ways that mothers could be empowered in the workforce would be setting a culture that is not reliable on how men bond but one that allows women to bond in their own ways. This means encouraging more lunches rather than drinks after work to ensure that women attend and bond with other employees (Zaleski). Women in high positions, especially those in charge of hiring should encourage women applying for jobs rather than treating them as if they are lesser beings yet when it comes to productivity, they prove to be the best. Women should support each other in the workplace since motherhood is a phase that most women will go through at some point in their lives. Women could also be supported by offering opportunities for them to work online as suggested in the article. This means that they can attend meetings on Skype and be able to take conference calls while they take care of their children (Zaleski). Some mothers can manage going to the office but to maximize on their productivity, allowing them to work at home, for instance, could be considered.
The work environment proves to be a hotbed for various gender dynamics which tend to favor men over women or non-parents over parents. This encompasses the spheres of commitment, productivity, and maternal affairs concerning women (Zaleski). Sexism, for example, goes against family values which are emphased on and termed as important at the work place. This is seen when employers treat mothers and parents who try to juggle between work and family unfairly. This tramps over family values despite the claim of family value importance. After insisting on family values, maternity leave is not offered which ends up being a discriminating factor to women. Some mothers are required to go back two weeks after delivery which is a challenge to them both at home and at (Zaleski). The economic policy is also an example of factors happening in the society that are similar to the article. It requires both parents to work but offers minimal child care solutions such that parents have to work extra hard and under a scope because taking time from the workforce to take care of the children would be considered as lack of dedication.
Dragan, Lauren. The Daily Beast. Tech has No Space for Breastfeeding Moms.
Zaleski, Katherine. Fortune. Why We Need More Mothers At Work. 2015.