21 Jan CCA targets work/life services to help an organization retain female employees
A major law firm committed to increasing diversity, particularly women associates, was consistently losing female employees. The attrition was most acute after female lawyers who went out on maternity leave attempted to return to work. Most resigned soon after.
CCA designed a customized work/life program for female attorneys preparing to exit the firm for maternity leave. CCA developed targeted communication materials describing the range of work/life services available to assist new mothers manage their responsibilities and facilitate their return to work, including:
- Lactation assistance
- Child care resources and referrals — assistance deciding on the right child care arrangement, locating and vetting resources, and ongoing management of the provider
- Guidance on new parenting issues (sleeping, eating, etc)
- Counseling for stress management, relationship management, and adjusting to new roles
- Return to work preparation
- Individual coaching to help manage work responsibilities, expectations, time, and project management
To further personalize and promote the program, each attorney was offered an appointment with a work/life counselor at her office to review and plan which services were appropriate for her.
The law firm significantly improved its retention of female attorneys. Attorneys returning from maternity leave were better prepared and able to re-integrate into the workplace. Successful returning mothers developed a working mothers affinity group as an outgrowth of the original program.