Exploring Parenthood: A Q&A with The Labour Dept.
Can you tell us a bit about The Labour Dept and its mission?
The journey through parenthood is changing. We believe the support we receive should change too. We’re on a mission to provide parents with the education they want and the community they need.
How was the idea of The Labour Dept born?
Through my pregnancy, I saw that there was a big gap in access to community and education for parents and I wanted to fill that gap.
How did the collaboration between your organization and Equals come about, and what were the goals behind it?
As a member at Equals, I’ve seen firsthand how supportive the community can be. I wanted to extend that support to the parents in our community while also creating a space for parents within equals.
Parenthood seems to be a central theme in your collaboration. Could you share more about why this topic is significant and how it relates to your work?
Being a parent is challenging enough, without adding the layer of paid work to it all. But this fact can’t be ignored. I want to meet it head-on and find ways to support working parents. For many parents, they are either juggling work and parenthood, or considering how to manage their return to work, so let’s talk about it and make that more accessible for people.
From your perspective, how does parenthood influence the workplace and the labour force?
This is such a great question! I think we are at a really interesting moment where companies are just starting to acknowledge that many of their employees do in fact have another job- being parents! And I think parents are starting to prioritise working for companies that respect and support their parenting needs. I’m really excited to see what this means for the future of work. Perhaps more integrated support (daycare at work etc) and more flexible working? I think this was amplified when everyone was working from home during the pandemic, and many companies have not fully returned to 100% office-based work. But as a baseline, just seeing the conversation growing is amazing.
Is there any advice or guidance you would offer to individuals or organizations looking to support parenthood in the workplace?
I think my number one challenge to organizations would be, how can we take the pressure away from the individual and encourage organisations to support parents more by offering better work/ life solutions? I’ve seen so many cases where the return-to-work plan was put solely on the employee and maybe a single manager. How do we further embed this across the team and the culture of organisations? How do we facilitate two-way communication with organisations and parents to create offerings that work for both?
In closing, what’s next for The Labour Dept, and are there any upcoming projects or initiatives that our readers should be on the lookout for?
We’ve just launched a membership program, giving our members an all-access pass to our community programming and events: https://www.thelabourdept.com/social
We are super excited to be expanding to The Hague in December with our prepped-to-parent program. https://www.thelabourdept.com/prepped-to-parent
Join the Labour Dept. X Equals parenting talks on the 27th October, reserve your ticket through this link.