Photo of The Stuggle to Juggle: How Flexible Employer Policies Can Keep Women in the Workforce

The Stuggle to Juggle: How Flexible Employer Policies Can Keep Women in the Workforce

11.20.2020

The Struggle To Juggle: How Flexible Employer

Policies Can Keep Women in the Workforce

Jessica A. Horton | Utah Business Magazine, November 2020, p. 93

In April, my husband and I had Zoom calls scheduled at the exact same time. Because my husband was presenting during his call, we decided I would take the kids and stay on mute as much as I could during my meeting.

Our plan was less than foolproof. Less than a minute in, I unmuted myself to say something. Which is exactly when my two-year-old noticed the client’s dog. “Doggy!” I cringed as my juggling act unraveled, but I shouldn’t have worried. My colleagues took my daughter’s participation in stride, and the client even held up his dog to the camera for my daughter to get a better look.

It’s no secret that the pandemic has wreaked havoc on women’s careers. Recent employment reports show that staggering numbers of women are opting out of the workforce entirely.[1] And it’s no wonder. Working women’s resumes now include positions such as “Homeschool Teacher,” “Chief Caregiving Officer,” and the perennial “Household CEO,” all on top of their normal day-to-day jobs.

I am one of the lucky ones. My employer, Kirton McConkie—Utah’s largest full-service law firm—has long had policies that allow women the flexibility they need to succeed in a demanding work environment, including a 12-week paid maternity leave policy.

In addition, our balanced hours policy lets associates scale back their hours as needed to accommodate life circumstanceswithout cutting short an attorney's career. Our recent income shareholder policy provides a framework for part-time associates to continue to progress to the shareholder level.

As with many workplaces, we are still building our village. Kirton McConkie aims for gender parity when hiring summer associates, new graduates, and lateral associates. Our firm is committed to recruiting and retaining female attorneys of all skill levels.

This year, the struggle to juggle work and life and everything in between is more challenging than ever. But thanks to Kirton McConkie, I have a supportive village. And that has made all the difference.

[1] Avie Schneider, et al., Enough Already: Multiple Demands Causing Women to Abandon Workforce, NPR (Oct. 2, 2020), https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/10/02/919517914/enough-already-multiple-demands-causing-women-to-abandon-workforce

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