Le Lézard
Classified in: Business, Covid-19 virus
Subjects: CHI, WOM

Beyond Sacrifice: EnrichedHQ's Mission to Offset the 'Mommy Tax' for Working Mothers

Motherhood, by definition, demands sacrifice. But, for many mothers it carries an additional, costly price tag?lost wages and benefits. Women of all ages and education levels are being forced to leave the workforce by unjust work structures that discriminate against working mothers over non-mothers and fathers in the workplace. To help even the playing field, EnrichedHQ works to dispel the myth that working mothers can do it all with less?less support, less money, less time, less sleep. In partnership with employers, Enriched HQ is taking a proactive stance in addressing the pervasive issue of the "Mommy Tax" that burdens working mothers across industries. They are blazoning a new trail to support and empower working mothers facing financial and career-related obstacles that not only benefits moms and their children but also their employers, and the community by offering a bevy of educational programs to youth that better prepare them for adulthood and the workforce, bridging the childcare gap from 5th grade through high school, thereby benefiting the whole of society.

BRISTOL, Vt., Dec. 11, 2023 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- The term "Mommy Tax" sums up the challenges faced by working mothers?lower pay, fewer career opportunities, and higher childcare costs. Recent studies show that pandemic-related changes have increased their caregiving duties, affecting sleep and careers. Statistics show that for each child they have, mothers get a 5 to 10 percent pay cut while fathers get a 6 percent pay bump per child, on average.¹ According to Carleen Haylett, CEO of EnrichedHQ, "The vast majority of single mothers are in lower income communities with jobs that are in person, greatly impacting their ability to find and pay for reliable childcare. This group spends close to 50% of its monthly income contributing to this "Mommy Tax"?the amount of income required simply for the right to have a job."

The challenges faced by working mothers

Corporations and employers need to stand up and support all families, even and especially when they have older kids who are often overlooked when it comes to the need for caregiving.

The Covid-19 pandemic ripped the cover off longstanding, continued gender and racial inequities in the economy and workplace. As schools and childcare centers closed, millions of women left the workplace to care for their children. According to the National Women's Law Center, during the pandemic, women lost 12.2 million jobs. Among those most greatly impacted are women of color, with unemployment rates remaining higher than the overall unemployment rate.²

It is critical to the founder of EnrichedHQ that, from the beginning, it is understood that its mission is to provide support services to children and parents from 5th grade through 12th grade. This demographic is easily forgotten in the discussions around typical childcare, i.e., daycare centers, and is largely ignored by companies that provide daycare assistance to working parents.

Women still tend to work part-time, low paid, and tipped jobs at higher rates than men, ensuring economic struggles even prior to the pandemic and a higher risk of job loss. While the economy has experienced a net gain of 3.7 million jobs since February 2020, a disproportionate number of these jobs have gone to men?2.2 million to men compared to 1.5 million to women. While the unemployment rate for women over the age of 20 was at 3.3% in May, it increased for women of color from 4.4% to 5.3%.³

The financial burden of childcare at all ages

According to studies conducted at the Annie E Casey Foundation, "the average annual national costs of childcare for one child in 2021 was $10,600, a tenth of a married couple's median income and more than one-third of a single parent's income...disproportionately affecting the financial well-being of women, single parents, parents in poverty, families of color and immigrant families."? While this includes typical childcare situations, it also refers to the costs associated with ensuring older children have the opportunity to be engaged in quality activities while their guardians are working.

A woman's earnings are vital to the well-being of a family, both in two-person homes and single-mother homes. Gender norms are changing, with approximately 64% of women claiming the title of primary breadwinner or co-breadwinner in their household, with even higher numbers for Black women (84.4 %) and Latinx mothers (60.3%).?

Black mothers are the most likely to be the primary economic support for their families, both as single and married moms. Among single mothers, 51.5 percent of Black women are likely to be unmarried breadwinners compared to 16 percent of white women.?

The exorbitant childcare costs represent a significant portion of the "Mommy Tax", with both married and single mothers often finding themselves in an impossible position of needing the financial ability to ensure their children are being given the care and continued learning opportunities they need so they can continue to work, but not earning enough money to do so.

Long-term effects and societal implications

Women are the driving force of the caregiving community while dealing with their own obstacles when it comes to caring for themselves. They are facing exhaustion, excessive stress, and lack of additional resources. "Since the pandemic, the workday for women has increased by 2 to 3 hours each day, 10 to 15 hours per week, equivalent to a part-time job", notes CEO Carleen Haylett. With little time and money to seek treatment, countless women continue caregiving when they themselves need care.

Childcare is often seen as an individual problem rather than a societal problem and a public good. When ensuring quality care for children of all ages is solely the responsibility of individuals and extended family members with little to no public investment, it devalues caregiving and ignores the fact that a healthy economy and society can only exist if people can continue going to work.

Working mothers are most likely to be employed in critical services and support positions within communities. Many of these industries are jobs that affect the country's future workforce and the health and stability of communities yet pay so little that quality care is beyond their reach. A lack of affordable, quality options through high school threaten these working mothers' ability to continue providing these vital services.

A remedy for the dilemma

During the holidays, pre-teens and teenagers will spend approximately four hundred hours out of school. For those students in homes that cannot send their kids to programs or camps during these hours?whether due to the staggering costs or lack of transportation?these students will spend a great deal of time unsupervised and often engaged in activities that do not encourage continued learning and academic growth.

Students of all ages need activities that stimulate their mind and body to better prepare them for life after high school and successful entry into the workforce. The vast majority of public two-and four-year colleges report enrolling students?more than half a million of them?who are not ready for college-level work.? This gap could be addressed by quality after-school care that offers learning opportunities, regardless of geographic locations or socioeconomic status.

To keep women that are balancing caregiving responsibilities with their jobs in the workforce, employers need to provide opportunities for these women to successfully juggle these dueling responsibilities without sacrificing either. And EnrichedHQ believes that companies should better support the families that they employee, making it easier to balance work and home life.

A partnership that works for everyone

EnrichedHQ offers a marketplace of diverse courses guaranteed to engage students of all ability levels and interests. By partnering with corporations to bring the EnrichedHQ library to employees as an extension of their existing childcare benefits, they can help address the effect the childcare crisis has on the economy and working parents.

Within EnrichedHQ lies hundreds of high-quality programs taught by vetted online educators that address the need for stimulating after-school options for 5th through 12th grade students. These programs provide real-life education in areas such as budgeting and investing that often are not addressed in traditional school curriculums as well as areas of interest such as coding and cooking that may inspire future careers.

No longer would parents have to search the internet to find quality virtual learning tailored to their child's needs, saving them an abundance of time and effort. EnrichedHQ can create a custom package for each child that will keep them occupied during the holidays on worthwhile activities within the goal of bridging childcare through high school.

Companies that provide this access to their employees can be comforted knowing they are helping to prepare the future workforce while giving caregivers peace of mind, enabling parents to fully commit to their jobs.

As Carleen Haylett of EnrichedHQ believes, "Corporations and employers need to stand up and support all families, even and especially when they have older kids who are often overlooked when it comes to the need for caregiving. It is important to embrace a more comprehensive approach to what employees need and how it benefits the companies and society as a whole."

About EnrichedHQ:
In 2020, single mother and technology leader Carleen Haylett witnessed pandemic-driven gaps in the U.S. educational space when her fifth-grade son began to thrive with homeschooling. The schoolwork was manageable, but the lack of affordable virtual extracurricular programs available, which would stimulate his development as a student preparing for middle and high school, was a shock. Torn between motherhood and her career, corporate pressure mounted, she left her job. She founded EnrichedHQ to solve the logistical nightmare of finding and managing options for kids who no longer need day care or a sitter, bridging childcare through high school. Leveraging her 20+ years in technology development, product management, and sales, she developed a platform that offers virtual extracurricular programs for middle and high school age children that enrich and prepare them for life. Working parents are able to find an immediate remedy for this common parental stressor through their employers. EnrichedHQ handles all the logistics, letting parents easily find, book, schedule, and pay for multiple virtual programs for multiple children across multiple providers. Both corporations and parents benefit from EnrichedHQ's commitment.?Visit https://enrichedhq.com/.

1) "Employment Characteristics of Families Summary - 2022 A01 Results." U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 19 Apr. 2023, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/famee.nr0.htm#:~:text=Parents%20The%20labor%20force%20participation,from%2072.3%20percent%20in%202019.?
2) "NWLC Jobs Day Reports."?National Women's Law Center, 5 June 2023, nwlc.org/resource/jobs-day-reports/.??
3) "Despite Strong Job Gains in May, Black Women's Unemployment Rate Jumps Nearly a Full Percentage Point." National Women's Law Center, 2 June 2023, nwlc.org/resource/may-2023-jobs-report/.?
4) "Four Charts on the Challenges of Single Working Moms." Bipartisan Policy Center, bipartisanpolicy.org/blog/challenges-single-working-moms/. Accessed 21 Nov. 2023.?
5) The Annie E. Casey Foundation. "How the High Cost of Child Care Hurts Families, Workers and the Economy." The Annie E. Casey Foundation, 14 June 2023, http://www.aecf.org/blog/how-the-high-cost-of-child-care-hurts-families-workers-economy.?
6) Glynn, Sarah Jane, and Katie Hamm. "The Economics of Caregiving for Working Mothers."?Center for American Progress, 10 Dec. 2019, http://www.americanprogress.org/article/economics-caregiving-working-mothers/.??
7) Glynn, Sarah Jane. "Breadwinning Mothers Continue to Be the U.S. Norm."?Center for American?
Progress, 10 May 2019, http://www.americanprogress.org/article/breadwinning-mothers-continue-u-s-norm/.??
8) Butrymowicz, Sarah. "Most Colleges Enroll Many Students Who Aren't Prepared for Higher Education."?The Hechinger Report, 8 Apr. 2021, hechingerreport.org/colleges-enroll-students-arent-prepared-higher-education/.??

Media Contact

Karla Jo Helms, JOTO PRtm, 727-777-4629, [email protected], jotopr.com 


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