Jeni Mayorskaya is CEO and founder, Stork Club. After being diagnosed with reproductive disorders that carried a risk of infertility she went on to build a company that gives people control over their reproductive lives so they can have both a career and a family.
While prioritizing my tech career, I was diagnosed with reproductive disorders with a high risk of infertility. Suddenly, my days were filled with anxiety: the fear of not being able to have children, the stigma around infertility, and the expense of treatment. After hearing the same story from hundreds of other women with fertility problems, I knew I wasn’t alone. So I founded Stork Club to serve these women—and all family-building individuals.
I’m sharing 36 of the best tips I’ve seen (and implemented myself) to help companies build a family-friendly culture. To help keep us all organized, I’ve shared them in eight main themes:
1. Conduct an equity audit
Conduct an equity audit assessing the policies, programs, and practices impacting working parents and employees getting ready to become parents.
- Examine metrics like hiring, retention, advancement, engagement, and leadership. Are working parents and expectant parents equally represented?
- Incorporate qualitative data by inviting working parents to give feedback about their experiences. Use anonymous surveys or one-on-one meetings to extract honest opinions about employee experiences. Are their experiences equitable?
- Create an action plan. Share the audit results with the organization alongside plans to amend unfair policies, programs, and practices. How will these changes improve the working conditions for working parents.
2. Create a pay communications policy
Create a pay communications policy that outlines universal pay practices and processes.
- Create transparency around the pay range for each position in the organization.
- Develop a rubric that determines where each employee falls on the pay scale.
- Explain the steps for promotion to the next salary range.
3. Hold company events during work hours
Increase equity at company events by holding them during work hours instead of after hours.
4. Flexible scheduling
Build flexibility into work hours and locations to give every family a schedule as unique as they are.
- Consider adopting core hours when working is mandatory but allow workers to otherwise choose schedules that fit their lives.
- Provide options to work from home — at least a few days per week.
5. Comprehensive parental leave
Provide a truly comprehensive paid parental leave policy for every employee.
- Regardless of gender identity, all parents should have a right to paid parental leave to bond with and care for newborns or newly adopted or fostered children.
- Parental leave should be inclusive of surrogacy, fosterage, and adoption and apply to each child added to an employee’s family.
6. Create employee resource groups (ERGs)
Foster an engaged and supportive workforce by implementing employee resource groups (ERGs) for people with common life experiences or interests.
- Form ERGs that offer working parents an opportunity to come together.
- Secure an executive sponsor who advocates for the group.
- Hold elections that determine the ERG leaders who will drive the group forward.
- Ask the ERG to define a mission statement and goals to maintain group alignment.
- Set a framework for the group, like meeting cadence and agenda items.
- Track ERG effectiveness by measuring meeting and event participation trends and include metrics on how the program influences organization-wide initiatives like hiring and retention rates.
- Regularly report on ERG outcomes to leadership.
7. Create a formal return-to-work process
Set up new parents for success and reduce attrition by creating and communicating a formal return-to-work process for employees transitioning from parental leave back to work.
- Welcome employees back to work with an informal coffee or a more formal team debrief.
- Provide work-from-home flexibility (for in-person work environments).
- Offer reduced hours that gradually ramp up to a full schedule.
- Appoint a key point of contact who reintegrates new parents back into the job and updates them on company changes.
- Equip a room for breastfeeding, pumping, and storing milk.
- Continually check in on the new parent’s back-to-work experience.
- Collect feedback to improve the back-to-work process.
8. Partner with a family benefits provider
Partner with a family benefits provider offering flexible benefits throughout the entire family-building journey, from fertility through menopause. Provide virtual access to reproductive, pediatric, and menopause care experts. While in-person appointments can take months, virtual care can provide almost immediate peace of mind for employees who are building their families.
- Fertility benefits: range from egg freezing, IVF and egg and sperm adoption to surrogacy and child adoption. The best options are inclusive of all individuals and help employees make their own personalized family-building plans.
- Maternity benefits: include pregnancy guidance, childbirth and leave coordination, breastfeeding support, and care for high-risk pregnancies.
- Working parent benefits: support individuals returning to work with postpartum recovery, newborn care, backup care, and pediatric support.
- Menopause benefits: offers telehealth visits, hormone replacement therapy (HRT), prescription delivery, and access to educational and community support resources.