In this blog

It took me a while to start writing this post because, well, it intimidated me. Being a working mom (and the challenge of being a new mom) isn't something that used to be talked about at work, much less breastfeeding and pumping breast milk. I'm so glad that's all changing. I was inspired to start writing because Robert, our office manager in Colorado sent a regional newsletter that included a link about International Women's Day.

Inclusion and Employee Resource Groups (ERG)

It's Women's History Month, and International Women's Day is March 8th. The theme this year is #EmbraceEquity and along with that comes embracing inclusion. I can't think of a time when I've felt more included at my workplace. 

While I was pregnant and about to start maternity leave, I was approached by my coworker Rosie who leads a Lean-In circle for new moms as part of LEAD, our Women's ERG. Rosie set up a recurring monthly call for new moms as a safe space for us to meet and discuss the challenges of being a new mom, being a working mom and most importantly, celebrating each other and our families. It's so great to be a part of a community of women who "get" what we're going through and share these experiences together. 

WWT has a number of ERGs that offer this type of community for our employees of different backgrounds.

Maternity leave and hybrid work

One of WWT's benefits that I was able to take advantage of was paid maternity leave. I was fortunate enough to take paid and unpaid time off, which was indescribably valuable as we were navigating life as new parents, plus the stressors of baby allergies and numerous doctor's appointments. I'll save everyone the entire story, but basically it meant that my baby was dependent on my breast milk because other options were not working. I was able to pump and build up a supply of breast milk, which is common for working moms before they have to return to work. 

Right before that date, my freezer broke and my supply was ruined. I am now on a day-to-day supply for my son. Luckily because of our hybrid work model, I'm able to work at my home in California and can comfortably pump while working or taking a break.

Expressing milk, mothers' rooms and MilkStork

I've now been back at work for a few months and was recently asked to travel for meetings at our global headquarters in St. Louis. Naturally, I had a bit of anxiety as the first question that popped into my head was, "How can I make sure my son has enough milk every day?" I tried calculating how many extra pumps I'd have to do before my trip. I mapped out the logistics of what it would take to bring him with me. Then I remembered the amazing benefit we have at WWT called MilkStork

MilkStork is a company that allows working mothers to pump breast milk while traveling and easily ship milk back home safely. The whole process was simple. I reached out to our benefits team for the link to MilkStork. I calculated the packages I would need and even reached out to customer service to verify that was the best option. I personally ordered two "Pump and Ship" and one "Pump and Tote" container. The pre-labeled packages were delivered to where I was staying in St. Louis. WWT covers the cost of this benefit, so I never even saw a bill.

During one of our ERG group calls, Sally from St. Louis heard that I was coming into town and sent over all the details of how to reserve a mothers' room to pump and even shared where they were located and what to expect. I was able to easily book a room and knew there was a place to store my supplies while I was attending meetings. Between meetings, I was able to go back to the mothers' room, set up my laptop and check emails while pumping. There were sanitizing wipes and a sink to clean before and after, and even refrigerators to store the freshly pumped milk. 

At the end of the day, I'd box up the expressed milk into the pre-labeled MilkStork package and drop it off in the mail room which has a daily FedEx pickup. I was texted updates when the package was picked up, in transit and delivered. It was such a relief to know that my son would still be able to have his main food source while I was away.

Watch my experience on Instagram.

Great Place to Work for All

If you've made it to the end of this article, you saw me reference several employees from all over the company in different departments and geographies. Working moms are an essential part of the workplace and our stories are being shared and supported everywhere. 

I'm inspired by coworkers like Claire in New York who advocate for working mothers' rights. I'm inspired by Rosie in California who continues to balance being a top performer at work with being an excellent mom of two. I'm inspired by Erica in St. Louis who asked about my struggles and shared a similar experience. 

I'm inspired by so many countless others who are speaking up, listening and sharing their stories so that women like me feel included. My personal experience has me proud to share that WWT is a fantastic place to be a working mom and truly is a Great Place to Work for All!