IBM may have just redefined the concept of employee satisfaction after it announced that it is launching a breast-milk-delivery service for all of the company’s working moms. Those in need, who are frequently on the road and away from their newborns, will be given access to a free breast milk delivery which will ship their milk back home at no cost whatsoever.
With the growing advocacy for breastfeeding by health experts and the fact that most companies only offer paid maternal leave for a grossly short three months, mothers across the country have been forced into making a tough call between the best interests of their child and the careers. More often than not, they end up sacrificing their professional careers.
IBM, one of the largest technology companies in the U.S., has sought to ensure their moms do not have to give up breastfeeding for work. The company will offer working moms private spaces in the workplace where they can pump breast milk and a storage device for the breast milk to keep it at optimum temperatures while it is being transported back to their toddlers at home. All of this at no cost to the parent. The convenience being offered is unimaginable.
Buildings in the 21st century were not made for breastfeeding, neither was the work environment in most parts of the U.S. In case your profession involves plenty of travel, as is often the case in IBM, airports do not have breast feeding spaces. Further complicating matters, most airports do not allow more than 10 ounces of breastmilk past the security check points. Working moms simply had no way to pump milk for their babies and send it back on time and at the right temperature. When IBM decided to put their working moms first, it was a godsend.
Executives at the Big Blue revealed that they saw the effort as a huge benefit for their women who form 29 per cent of their workforce.
The company intends to launch the service in the U.S. first before making it global. It will be interesting to see which other companies follow suit.
Employers across North America had long been deaf to the requests of working moms and it was only until Obamacare recently made it a requirement for workplaces to include breastfeeding spaces did employers start paying attention to their female workforce. IBM has set the bar high with their added free breast milk delivery service. For other companies that have been neglecting their female employees, change is inevitable. No longer are working moms asking if they will get breast feeding spaces, but when they would.