Meghan, Duchess of Sussex: Businesses must help working mothers with childcare

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Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, has backed a call for companies to help working mothers with childcare - WPA Pool
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, has backed a call for companies to help working mothers with childcare - WPA Pool

Helping working mothers with their childcare is “imperative” for businesses to flourish, the Duchess of Sussex has argued.

The Duchess, who is backing a new call for companies to support women by helping with childcare, said “families, especially working moms” are already asked to “shoulder so much”.

Signing Archewell up to the “Marshall Plan For Moms”, the Duchess lent her public profile to boost a report which found that “expanded childcare benefits could further companies’ efforts to attract, retain and advance women and help bring women back to work”.

“Families everywhere, and especially working moms, are asked to shoulder so much,” said the Duchess, a mother of two.

“This has only been heightened by the pandemic, with increased caregiving responsibilities, rising prices, and economic uncertainty.

“As it’s been said many times, it takes a village to raise a child.

“Today, we’re sending a message that childcare isn’t just a community imperative – it’s a business imperative.

“Creating a stronger workforce starts with meeting the needs of families.”

Marshall Plan for Moms, an American non-profit organisation, has released a new report making the business case for childcare.

Its survey of more than 1,000 American parents with children ages 0-5 found 69 per cent of women would be more likely to choose an employer that offered on-site child care or benefits to help pay for it.

More than half of women with young children who left the workforce temporarily, took on less hours, or moved to a less demanding job cited child care as one of the reasons, the report said.

Raising children is ‘unpaid labour’

The organisation has now launched the “National Business Coalition for Child Care”, with members including Archewell required to show an “interest in pursuing solutions that equitably provide child care supports for employees”.

The Duchess has previously spoken of the value of mothers, either working out of the home or raising children full time.

“A couple of hundred dollars give you self satisfaction,” she said during a New York Times event last year.

“That for women, especially for women who are at home raising kids... they’re working, it’s just unpaid labour and they need to be recognised for their unpaid labour.”

She has previously lobbied for paid leave for all parents, cold-calling US politicians and calling it a “humanitarian issue”.

Saying it was not a “red or blue” topic, referring to American political parties, she said she believed “we can all agree that people need support” after the birth of a child.

The Duchess will this summer launch a Spotify podcast about the “labels that try to hold women back”, interviewing historians and experts on gender stereotyping.

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