Convenience Store News

MAR 2017

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82 Convenience Store News | MARCH 2017 | WWW.CSNEWS.COM NEW Horizons EXPERT'S VIEW Procter & Gamble, Best Buy and Starbucks. 4. WORK/LIFE PROGRAMS With work/life support in mind, some companies are getting creative, offering programs or classes during lunch hour instead of after work, when childcare is an issue. They are developing programs that benefit families like financial counseling, college coaching, free legal and financial counseling, and free work/ life counseling. Johnson & Johnson, for instance, offers employees access to six on-site daycare facilities, health and life- style coaching, and free college counseling. Others are providing onsite gyms, allowing single moms — and all employees — to get in a destressing workout during the workday. 5. ADVOCATING FOR EMPLOYEE-FRIENDLY POLICIES Legislation like the Family and Medical Leave Act makes life less stressful and more economically stable for parents. In some cases, companies are actively sup- porting and advocating for legislation that helps level the playing field for single working moms, including those that raise wages, protect paid sick days, subsidize childcare and early education, lower college costs, and enable more parents to save for their children's college. If you want single mothers — and all parents — to be successful in the workplace, follow the industry leaders and reconsider your workplace policies, redi- rect resources to family-friendly programs, and advo- cate for change. CSN Nancy Krawczyk is vice president, corporate partnerships and engage- ment, for the Network of Executive Women, Retail and Consumer Goods, a learning and leadership community representing 10,000 members, 950 companies, more than 100 corporate partners and 20 regional groups in the United States and Canada. Learn more at newonline.org. Editor's note: The opinions expressed in this column are the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Convenience Store News. 1. PAID LEAVE & FLEX WORK Each year, Working Mother magazine honors the Best Companies for Working Mothers. The benefits these organizations offer continue to improve, helping single moms in the workplace. At the 100 companies recognized last year, including 11 NEW corporate partners, paid leave rose from an average of eight to nine fully paid weeks. Maternity leave at L'Oreal USA is now set at 14 fully paid weeks. More parents are also taking advantage of flexible work arrangements — such as working from home, working four 10-hour days, or job shar- ing — that help employees better juggle family and other commitments. The percentage of the 2016 Best Companies' employees using flextime (80 percent), telecommuting (59 percent) and compressed work schedules (22 per- cent) all saw healthy increases. 2. CHILDCARE ASSISTANCE The average annual cost of childcare in a center is $9,589. At-home care averages a whopping $28,354 per year, according to Care.com's Care Index 2016. Fortunately, more companies are responding with childcare options, either on- or offsite. Colgate-Palmolive, for example, offers onsite child - care, and Danone offers an online support resource called CareAdvantage to access backup childcare. 3. EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT The more education a single mom has, the less likely she'll struggle financially. While 51 percent of low- income, single working moms (earning less than twice the federal poverty line) have some education beyond high school, 77 percent of higher-income sin- gle working mothers (making more than 200 percent of the poverty line) do, according to the Population Reference Bureau. The good news is that more com- panies are providing tuition assistance. Among them: If you want single mothers — and all parents — to be successful in the workplace, follow the industry leaders and reconsider your workplace policies, redirect resources to family-friendly programs, and advocate for change.

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