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.
My boss (a.k.a PowerToFly's kick-butt cofounder Katharine Zaleski) really put it into perspective for me when she spoke with Bloomberg about the importance of childcare support for working women.
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.
So, whether it's taking a day off to care for a sick child or pressing pause on their careers all together, women continue to do a larger share of work in the home… and that has serious repercussions for their careers. Although women and men are paid more or less equally at the start of their careers, in their late 20s to mid 30s (a.k.a the childbearing years), the gap starts to widen significantly. And while the gap is most significant for women who choose to have children, studies have shown that the gap widens for women in their late 20s/early 30s who don't have children as well!
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!
Bonus Points: Dow Jones also offers a return-to-work program for anyone who has been out of the workforce for two years because of childcare, family care, or other life events.
Caring for Kids Programs (Including Subsidized Care Programs)
Bonus Points: Intuit offers a return-to-work program and flexible work arrangements.
Special Discounts on Childcare & Subsidized Backup Care
Dependent Care & Childcare
Bonus Points: Work from home + reduced/flexible hours.
Backup Dependent Care & Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account
Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account
Backup Childcare & Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account
Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account
Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account, Backup Childcare Centers, & Helping Parents Find the Right Nanny
Bonus Points: Family and individual sick days.
Dependent Care Reimbursement Account
Bonus Points: Flexible schedules.
Dependent Care Spending Accounts & Childcare Backup Support
Dependent Care Flexible Spending Reimbursement Account
What childcare benefits mean the most to you? Let us know @powertofly.
I thought about writing this blog piece like one of those quizzes that used to be on the back pages of Seventeen and Cosmo where each question would offer several answers of varying point levels and you'd pick one answer per question, tally up your points at the end, and match your score to one of several possible results.
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