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Why Companies Offering Childcare Support Are Also Helping To Tackle The Gender Pay Gap
Plus 15 Companies With Childcare Benefits hiring now
Ever since Amazon made headlines earlier this month when parents at the company asked for back up daycare, I've been thinking about the implications of childcare options (or a lack thereof) for working parents.
Because men in the U.S. tend to make more money than women, moms are more likely to stay home when their kids are sick, or to give up their careers all together if the price of childcare isn't affordable. (In some states, annual childcare costs exceed $20,000! Consider how much you'd need to be making pre-tax in order to justify that kind of expense… there are different tax benefits you can take advantage of, but still, it's a lot of money!)
Similarly, employers aren't obligated to pay you if you have to take time off to care for a sick child (though you are guaranteed up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave through FMLA). In these cases, logic would dictate that the spouse making less money stay home to take care of the child…which tends to be the woman.
This is all indicative of a vicious cycle in which women stay home more often with their children because they're paid less, and companies pay women less because they think they might prioritize their kids over their job… So what can employers do to help break this cycle?
Studies have shown that offering childcare benefits can reduce absenteeism by as much as 30%, and turnover by up to 60%.
As it turns out, however, onsite daycare is a relatively uncommon perk - less than 8% of American companies offer it. And while it would be unfair to expect midsize companies to live up to the daycare perks offered by tech juggernauts like Google and Apple, there are other childcare-related benefits that make a big difference for all working parents, but especially moms, who tend to bear the brunt of childcare responsibilities.
From generous paid parental leave (stay tuned for another post on that soon!), gradual returns to work, paid time off to take care of sick children, and childcare benefits like backup daycare and flexible spending accounts, there's a lot that employers can do to help ease the burden of childcare expectations placed on women.
Because as Katharine says, "women shouldn't have to choose between their children and their careers".
Check out the benefits these 15 companies offer to support working parents' childcare needs!