The gender disparity in Greece and in Europe, compounded by parenthood👇

In recent years, much progress has been made regarding equal employment opportunities among men and women with or without children. However, recent studies continue to suggest that, especially in Greece, parenthood often leads more women to temporarily withdraw from work due to personal choice or challenges in balancing work and childcare than men. This is more evident in Greece- substaining a big gap in employment between genders, particularly among parents.

“In Greece, women spend 2.6 times as much time on unpaid domestic and care work than men”

Similar to the trend observed across Europe, recent Eurostat data indicates that men in Europe with children exhibit a higher employment rate (90%) compared to those without children (80.9%). Although the pattern is consistent across all EU countries, the same thing holds true for women, in only 5 out of the 27 European Countries, while their overall employment rates remain low.

In Greece, the same pattern can be noticed for men, with a 15.9 percentage point difference between those with and without children (89.6% vs. 73.7% respectively). However, the employment rates for Greek women, with or without children, are notably lower compared to the EU average: The employment rate for women with children is 28.3 percentage points lower compared to the same rate for men, while when it comes to women without children, the difference is 12.4 percentage points, highlighting that parenthood compounds a significant contribution towards gender disparity.

We are sharing below some insights and creative initiatives to celebrate and support working mothers, fostering a more equitable and nurturing workplace environment.

In order to bridge this systematic disparity in the workforce faced by working mothers, it’s essential for organizations to try and address all the institutional barriers that hold all women, especially working mothers, away from their career- such as inadequate childcare facilities, limited parental leave options, societal expectations on women’s caregiving roles, and biases against hiring women of childbearing age.

✅Implementing family-friendly policies and benefits, such as generous maternity leave and a firm dedication to gender equality. These initiatives are valued and appreciated by working mothers and contribute to cultivating a workplace environment abundant in parental support, essential for addressing their needs without discrimination.

Small, creative, fun activities that create and enhance an everyday culture of equality can be incredibly important:

🙌Cherishing your motherline heritage

Encourage employees to bring in a dish inspired by cherished family recipes passed down from their mothers or grandmothers. Sharing these dishes during a lunch gathering fosters a sense of community and allows for bonding over shared memories.- It’s a great opportunity for employees to come together, bond, and enjoy some delicious food.

Inviting your employees’ mothers or mother-like figures to the office for a day

With a growing number of Gen Z individuals entering the workforce, many employees maintain close ties with their parents, not only because GenZ is the first generation in many years still living with their parents, but also because according to a 2023 study, 20% of Millennials and 68% of adult Gen Z-ers are living in multigenerational households.Recognizing the importance of caregivers, you can invite employees to bring their mothers or mother-like figures to the office, either physically or virtually.

📷Capturing what Motherhood means for your people

Consider creating a Mother’s Day photo collage to be shared with colleagues via your intranet\sharepoint or internal social media accounts. An engaging activity could be setting up a real or virtual Mother’s Day-themed cork board where employees can post photos of their children, mothers, grandmothers, and other mother figures, accompanied by captions or short stories.

⚖️Shuttering the gendered caregiving stereotypes

Mother’s Day in the Workplace can be an opportunity to celebrate those coworkers who excel at nurturing and caregiving in your workforce, regardless of traditional gender roles or stereotypes. Try to acknowledge them for the important role they play in your workforce and use this as a chance to educate others about the diverse nature of caregiving: By recognizing that anyone can be a caregiver if they want, regardless of gender or parental status, you can break down gender stereotypes.You can create a “shout out” initiative to honor these individuals and show appreciation for their contributions to your workplace community, while also promoting inclusivity.

📢Broadening your understanding of motherhood beyond Biological Bonds

Instead of focusing solely on bringing one’s own mother to work, you can emphasize the opportunity to invite someone who holds a motherly role in their life, regardless of their official caregiver status. This could be a mentor, a friend, or even a coworker who embodies nurturing qualities. By broadening our perspective to include individuals who provide maternal support in various forms, we can create a more inclusive and supportive environment for all employees.

✅What is Motherhood like for non-birth mothers?

Recognizing that non-birth mothers (mothers within a same sex marriage, adopting\fostering mothers or caregivers) can face challenges with their “maternal” identity, often feeling invisible or secondary within their family, the public sphere and the workplace. Addressing these issues with discretion and respect is vital for fostering inclusivity and support for all forms of motherhood in your workplace.

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