Thirty-three years. That is how long it took for me to experience it. Thirty-three years.
A couple weeks ago my daughter and I were having this conversation. This topic would come up again over the long weekend as I returned home from grocery shopping.
Women, work and wellness.
My daughter is returning to the labour force shortly. She has been on maternity leave for almost a year now. Struggling with the pull of wanting to stay home longer with her baby, my joy and light Mahalia who I also affectionately call Kitten, my daughter cannot afford that option. Well, not if she wants to maintain the standard of living that she has grown accustomed to and enjoys.
Her employer sent her an email a couple weeks ago to come in for a "return to work" meeting. My "spidey" sense told me that things were about to change but I said nothing to her.
After the meeting, she came to my place and from the look on her face I knew my spider was on target. Not one to wallow for more than a minute, I did not indulge her. Instead, she was given the same advice I would give to any woman faced with the options before her. It was advice that took me 33 years to formulate.
"Find something else that is moving you to where you want to be but offers you balance with your child and family life."
When Abigail told me the details of her post maternity meeting, I did what I always do when faced with choices. I launched a hunt for information, assessed it and presented her with my findings. That way, she made an informed decision.
Unfortunately, too many women do not have that option or they do not know where to look. Worse yet, too many choose not to or their circumstances seemingly force them to make decisions that unbalances their lives for a long time.
One of the tools that I came across and that I would encourage more women to utilize is InHerSight. My lead to this website was BlogsRelease, a resource for bloggers like myself.
According to its website, InHerSight allows women to "check how potential employers treat women." They are "on a mission to measure how well employers support the women who work for them — and to turn those insights into better support for women in the workplace."
I say it is about darn time this was available.
Canada is a beautiful country with many opportunities for growth, development and prosperity. Yet, like in many so called developed countries, many are also falling between the cracks. As I researched the return to work practices of many companies, it was shocking to note that despite the generous maternity leave benefits offered through social services, an equal amount of women are finding it challenging to get back to their former positions.
Wellness, as I discussed in my previous posts is way more than fitness of body. Peace of mind about one's living and working space has a direct impact on the wellness of women. For 33 years, my working life did not support my healing journey. In fact, several of my past employers were more detrimental to my physical and emotional health than the junk food I ate.
A mother having to return to work, already anxious about separating for extended periods from her child, ought not to be further burdened by the thoughts of job insecurity.
Indeed any woman ought not to be so concerned about the practices of her employer as it relates to her gender and the natural occurring needs associated with being woman that her wellbeing is compromised.
How does your current or past employer stack up when it comes to women, work and wellness? Check out InHerSight and see the best practices of those who appreciate the value of women in the workplace. You may want to add your two cents worth on the site.
I am happy to report that my daughter took my advice and will return to work soon with an organization that offers her work/life balance, managerial experience, upward mobility and a fair salary!
Have a well day and be sure to join my list for special offers and updates, available only to list members.
Some photos sources:
Information regarding InHerSight was sourced through BlogsRelease