Finance Monthly. 43 Business & Economy still not equal to that of men. For every 100 men that get promoted to a leadership role, only 87 women will receive the same promotion. At the start of the pandemic, when women left their jobs to attend to family matters, what seemed to be a temporary component in their regular lives, soon became a permanent fixture. Although not all working mothers were seen becoming stay-athome parents as the pandemic started to wane, many of those that remained caretakers have slowly fallen behind their male colleagues. For some mothers, the transition from being a caretaker to taking on full-time working responsibilities has been difficult, regardless of their level of work experience. As many slowly started to reenter, many were faced with having to deal with more stringent workplace policies, toxic work environments, and workplace trends that were only wedging themselves deeper into the everyday working culture of corporate America. Childcare benefits remain a priority The importance of childcare is perhaps one of the main driving factors that have contributed to the high levels of stress experienced by working parents today. There are multiple reasons why parents could feel stressed about the future and development of their children, but for many, it’s the rising cost thereof that has perhaps been the biggest burden for many. An analysis by Child Care Aware of America (CCAOA) found that the average price of center-based childcare for infants was over $13,000 as of 2021. The annual price of childcare for children under age 6 was around $10,600 per year in 2021, a rise compared to 2020. More shockingly, the average cost of childcare in the United States has increased by 220% in the last several decades, far outpacing wage growth for some working parents. Around 68% of working parents have said they are more likely to accept a job that provides them with improved autonomy and scheduling flexibility for childcare needs. Some parents feel that a company’s childcare benefits are one of the key prerequisites when they apply for a new job or consider leaving their current role. Many working parents are not leaving necessarily because they are unhappy in their current roles, but more so because companies are not providing them with enough childcare support benefits, or perhaps schedule flexibility to attend to childcare needs. As many working parents burn the candle at both ends, companies will gradually see employees with higher levels of stress and anxiety, which not only negatively impacts their well-being, but overall productivity, and team morale. Parting thoughts Being a working parent in America is no longer a challenge that is solely supported by the parents, but also by employers who are eager to hold onto valuable talent and hardworking employees amid great attrition of workers in the labor market. There is a growing need for employers, executives, and managers to address workplace benefits and to ensure it is directed toward parents, and their needs. Employees want to work for employers that provide them with the tools and abilities to thrive, grow, develop new skills, and above all, practice more autonomy to care for their families. 68% of working parents have said they are more likely to accept a job that provides them with improved autonomy and scheduling flexibility for childcare needs.