It is reassuring to note that there is a legitimate interest in the market to walk the journey of diversity and inclusion and, in fact, create more heterogeneous work environments. Companies set clear goals for hiring female leaders, for example.
And we are already seeing tangible changes: A study with more than 700 Brazilian companies, conducted by global HR consultancy Randstad, showed that The presence of women in senior positions was 168% higher in 2021compared to 2020.
However, it is essential to monitor positive actions and how they are continued on a daily basis. Attracting women should be part of a process that does not make all the challenges that the gender index brings into their lives invisible. Especially those accompanied by motherhood. Women are socialized to be caretakers From everything and everyone.
Therefore, they accumulate jobs and excessive mental burden, especially when they are also practicing motherhood. at Brazilian women are responsible for 90% of decisions regarding family primary health care and 80% of household health expenditures. They are also 75% more likely than men to use digital healthcare tools. No wonder that in 2018, an investigation by Welch’s Foods found that parenting equates to 2.5 full-time jobs.
More than ever, it is imperative that companies, in addition to goals, have strong and smart strategies to retain the women they have been able to attract. After all, motherhood is one of the major challenges for companies to retain women and achieve their gender diversity and inclusion goals: 50% of women in 85% of Brazilian companies leave the labor market within one year, After maternity leave this number remains for 24 months.
One-off actions, such as lectures and workshops, are important to give impetus to basic conversations about gender equality. However, only permanent welcoming actions are capable of developing and maturing inclusion.
I see caring for the health and maintaining the physical and emotional well-being of these mothers and their families as one of the pillars of personal life that cannot be ignored in professional life. Diversity and Inclusion is a human process and requires managers to abandon the old idea that collaborative people leave everything that touches their lives after working outside the office.
Therefore, here I present three ways in which a specific health benefit can be achieved for mothers and their families with the accessibility facilitated by the influences of technology on recurring problems that, unfortunately, remain outside the field of view of managers. This service has the potential to transform ESG objectives into tangible, long-term results.
Parental depletion is a reality
Parental burnout, or extreme parental exhaustion, is characterized by excessive physical and psychological exhaustion associated with parenting. The pandemic has also blurred the lines between the public and private lives of parents. With schools closed and the impossibility of relying on support networks, they were both stressful, yes, but especially stressful.
If not recognized or treated, burnout can lead to tantrums, verbal and physical abuse, and neglect of the child — and professionals at work, too. It is important that these women receive extra attention to ensure healthy family relationships as well as a smooth workflow.
In practice, this means creating awareness of the problem within organizations and providing a specialized service that can identify the scenario, yes, but prevent it through guidance and support on relationships and education of children in difficult times.
A mother’s mental health is still a taboo
Many pregnant and postpartum women who need and deserve support do not receive adequate help and care from specialized professionals, which may contribute to disease in the pregnancy and postpartum cycle. In the period from 6 to 18 months after the birth of a child, for example, 25% of Brazilian women experience symptoms of depression. Extending maternity leave is an excellent and necessary policy.
But she alone will not be able to help a woman through this disorder. Having a dedicated support team during the antenatal and postpartum period is one protective factor that can help prevent postpartum depression and other illnesses related to maternal mental health, such as anxiety, and keep these women in employment when re-licensing.
Single moms can’t be left behind
It is necessary to closely monitor single mothers. In Brazil there are 11.5 million women raising their children alone. According to the IBGE, mothers own up to 40% of Brazilian homes. It is essential to allow this important part of the population to be highlighted and to understand how care can be designed for them.
As they bear the entire mental burden of the family, the health benefit, which provides comprehensive and coordinated care, would take the requirements of planning and organization out of their hands.
Technology that cares ally to motherhood
A digital health feature focused on mothers and families is a guarantee of an accessible safe haven, which is with this woman and her children literally in her pocket at all times. This is very important, because what we see is that the journey of women’s health and family in Brazil and in the world still lacks solutions that coordinate the necessary care in a practical and integrated way, and with a high percentage of packages.
I would also say that, in most cases, it is this lack of support and organized care that leads to overload and fatigue. Only a structured, end-to-end monitoring network of care, with health protocols based on value and scientific evidence, can reduce costs and improve clinical outcomes.
To illustrate, for example: maternal mental health care should not be based solely on the work of a psychologist or psychiatrist. We must fully understand daily challenges From this journey: breastfeeding, sleep, relationships, children’s behavior and education, sex, among many others.
There are already new perspectives and solutions for maternal health and wellness on the market and it is time for decision makers to embark on this innovation. Mother’s month is not a ceremonial date. It is time for managers to rethink their diversity and inclusion strategies, embrace their responsibilities and confront the fact that daily maternity care is a non-negotiable condition for achieving ESG goals.
Roberta Sotomayor is the co-founder and CEO of Bloom Care, a digital clinic for women’s and family health in Brazil.