Supporting Single Parents at Your Company

SHRM released an article yesterday about how companies can support single parents. If you’ve been working on how to prevent burnout in your company culture, it has some excellent ideas.

Single parents have among the highest rates of burnout, and there are many of them in the country. Nearly one in four children lives with a single parent, most of them mothers and most of them work. The pandemic caused the number of working solo parent mothers to drop hard and it’s been slow to recover.

“Companies need to acknowledge that single parents exist,” said Tanzina Vega, a solo parent, journalist and host of The Takeaway public radio show on WNYC. “A lot of organizations still assume that all parents are in couples, so there’s an assumption that your partner will be there at home if you can’t be. Companies have to acknowledge there are unique issues that single parents will run into.”

Burnout is rarely an individual issue. It’s an organizational and culture issue. The article recommends several ways to address it:

  • Make an effort to hire solo parents back into the workforce and promote them.
  • Make company culture inclusive and recognize the special needs of solo parents.
  • Change work structures to avoid normalizing overworking.
  • Encourage people to take more breaks and time-off without making them fear they’ll be looked on as lazy.
  • Offer child care

There are a lot of fantastic ideas in the full article, and we encourage you to read it if you want to help the single parents in your organization be better workers.