More and more conventional beliefs are being challenged by the times. Not only technology progresses, but society evolves, too. Among the radical changes at the turn of the century is the growing acceptance of married couples and employees with children in the workforce.
Women are traditionally held back by domestic responsibilities and men are expected to focus more on work rather than their family lives. Now, people can have satisfying home relationships and pursue fulfilling careers at the same time.
Here are some reasons why the HR should welcome parents into the workforce:
1.) It all goes back to society.
The United Nations celebrates the 1st of June every year as Global Day of Parents. This is to acknowledge and support the role of parents in developing peaceful and healthy communities through raising their families in an atmosphere of love and harmony.
The family is the smallest unit of society, and this is where values, basic education, and socialization are first acquired. Working parents are able to meet their families’ needs, and they have access to good food, quality education, and healthcare among many other things. Healthy families are the foundation of a healthy society.
2.) Some parents are top talents, too.
In recruitment, discrimination against people based on their marital status still exists today. According to some Los Angeles lawyers, it’s because some employers think that marriage, or even an engagement, means that a potential employee is more likely to go on parental leave, which is seen as an expense for the company. This may explain why the average age for women to have their first child in 1970 was 21, but it rose to 26.3 in 2014. In fact, some studies think this increased further to 30 as of late.
But people are more than just their age or their status. It's a big mistake to discredit a person just because he or she is married or have children. This limits a company’s access to potential top performers.
Anyone can become a valuable asset to the company when given the chance. There’s a probationary period for a reason. Rather than turning people away based on their marital status, it’s best to allow them to prove and improve themselves.
3.) They're mature.
Maturity comes with age. A lot of parents say having a kid altered their lives. Parenthood has changed their outlook and taught them to be more patient and mindful of their words and actions.
There’s good use for that in the workplace. Their strong sense of responsibility drives them to take the initiative in leading others, making quick and sensible decisions, and maintaining harmony. Working parents can guide younger or inexperienced colleagues; their level-headedness can help quell petty misunderstandings.
4.) They have serious life goals.
This is not to say that other employees aren’t as determined or as motivated, but most parents who work to provide for their families turn out to be devoted employees. Knowing they have mouths to feed and kids to send to good schools, they become extra careful of their employment status. They have powerful motivations to show up at work. And so, they will strive to rise up the career ladder to get higher pay.
According to this Huffington Post article, some UK employers actually prefer hiring working mothers “as they are more productive and don't come in with hangovers.”
5.) They mostly prefer the night shift.
While working the graveyard shift sounds dreadful to others, it seems to be the perfect time for parents to go to work. It gives them time to send their kids to bed and kiss them good night. And they return home from work just in time to greet them “good morning.” During the day, they can catch up on their sleep while their children are at school. The night shift frees up their daytime for family bonding or fulfilling other responsibilities.
A father of three could be a dedicated programmer, or a mother who has just returned from her maternity leave could still be an efficient accountant. Failing to see past the ‘parent tag’ blinds us from recognizing potentials and denies the company of invaluable talents. Instead of acting on assumptions and biases, it’s worth it to read the rest of the resume.