LinkedIn Turns Its Focus to Working Mothers for International Women’s Day

Its newest #InItTogether spot addresses the challenges of returning to the workforce

LinkedIn's newest TV spot tells the story of Nicky, who put her employment on pause to care for her son with learning disabilities - Credit by LinkedIn
Headshot of David Cohen

LinkedIn is rolling out a cross-functional campaign for International Women’s Day this week, highlighted by the newest spot in its ongoing #InItTogether campaign.

The professional network is focusing on mothers who return to the workforce after taking career breaks, and the spot, running across digital channels, tells the story of Nicky, who put her employment on pause to care for her son with learning disabilities.

The spot follows her transition back into the workplace and the role played by LinkedIn’s community in giving her the confidence to go back to work.

LinkedIn

Chief marketing and communications officer Melissa Selcher said in an email, “Almost one-half of women—43%—take time off after having a baby. These women face significant barriers trying to re-enter the workforce, disadvantaging them and the companies who could benefit from their skills and experience. Our goal is to empower women to use their networks and community to find opportunities, to nail hard questions about their choices in a job interview and to feel confident about what they can and will contribute in the workplace.”

LinkedIn said it called the newest wave of the #InItTogether campaign its “Transform” series, and other creative will focus on members pivoting careers and fighting stereotypes, and how they use their respective LinkedIn networks to help.

The professional network said that over the last wave of the #InItTogether campaign, which ran from last September through last November, the perception that LinkedIn was a place for people to find the right jobs for them rose seven points, and the perception that members feel like part of the community rose five points.

LinkedIn added that branded search for LinkedIn and LinkedIn jobs—volume of Google searches against those keywords—rose 35% during that same time period.

LinkedIn also shared some examples of solutions on its platform to help women re-enter the workforce.

The professional network offers LinkedIn Learning courses that are specifically tailored to these issues, such as how to return from work after a leave of absence, how to develop your career plan and leadership strategies for women.

There are also groups that provide communities for working and returning mothers.

And LinkedIn’s Interview Prep Tools can help get them ready for that part of the process.

Selcher said, “A healthy workplace enables people in every life stage to thrive, and to grow and learn together. Enabling parents—who have two big jobs—to be successful requires actively investing in the support, both benefits and cultural, that they need. At LinkedIn, we continue to try to make that transition back to work, and the day-to-day challenge of managing both roles, easier by providing benefits like subsidized child care, mother’s wellness rooms and paid family care leave. Most important, we also create a community and culture of compassion, acceptance and support.”

Vice president of global diversity, inclusion and belonging Rosanna Durruthy penned two blog posts, one from the member side and the second from the employer side.

Durruthy wrote in the first blog post that while 64% of hiring managers recognize obstacles for working moms—”from inflexible work schedules to stigmas attached to taking time off to lack of career growth”—49% said they would hire a working mom who has taken a career break because she is likely to be hard-working and have strong time-management skills (37%) and patience (30%).

She added that 58% of hiring managers believe parents should highlight career breaks on their résumés and share the value of this time off.

Mothers returning to the work force also need to seek the right fit. LinkedIn found that over 64% of women believe a non-flexible work schedule is the biggest obstacle to career advancement. Durruthy wrote, “When looking for a job or starting a new one, use the interview period as an opportunity to also interview the employer on the company culture: Do they offer employee resource groups for parents? Do they allow flexible work schedules? If you’re looking for a new job, you can also set up a job filter on LinkedIn to discover jobs that fit your needs, such as part-time roles or jobs that allow you to work remotely.”

And Durruthy stressed community, saying that 28% of working moms look for their company to provide support groups for working parents.

In the blog post for companies, Durruthy wrote that while 85% of hiring mangers believe mothers should discuss their career breaks and the unique transferable skills they’ve gained during those breaks, 52% of women still believe highlighting a gap in their résumé will lead to them being dismissed as a candidate.

She added, “To help combat this stigma, hiring managers need to take a more intentional approach to interviews and hiring. Interviews should provide a forum for mothers looking to re-enter the workforce to openly share the value of taking their career break and how it makes them a more competitive candidate. Organizations should also identify and correct any biases that may exist in their job postings that could be influencing their pipeline, as well as how they view candidates with career breaks in their résumé.”

Durruthy also said the most important things that organizations can do to foster a more inclusive workplace for working mothers are allowing employees to work a more flexible schedule (67%) and offering robust parental policies and benefits (45%).

She concluded, “The transition from employee to mother to working mother can be a remarkable shift, but remember that you’re not alone. Join us in celebrating International Women’s Day and the mothers balancing families and careers as they navigate re-entering the workforce. You can recognize a working mother who has had an impact on you with LinkedIn’s IWD Kudos and the hashtags #IWD2020 and #InItTogether.”


david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.
Publish date: March 5, 2020 https://dev.adweek.com/digital/linkedin-turns-its-focus-to-working-mothers-for-international-womens-day/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT