What happens when employees have to balance the demands of parenthood with the demands of a growing career? The combination of the two can feel like an impossible, never-ending juggling act.
Many of West Monroe’s current employees, leaders, and candidates are in the thick of managing both their family and work lives—while some others might be considering starting this exciting new chapter.
West Monroe understands those challenges—we’ve been on Fortune’s Best Workplaces for Parents list four consecutive years—and we chatted with a few employees who are navigating through these obstacles simultaneously.
I was late to the consulting industry, and I put in a lot of hours in the beginning (my early 20s) to learn things and build a strong foundation knowing that I wanted a family—and that my time and work prioritization would ultimately shift. I prioritize time for my family from 5 p.m. to when my kids go to sleep around 8 p.m. After that, I’ll check for any high-priority items that are time-sensitive. I’m very intentional about dedicating time to the most valuable items, and my leaders support me in my goals.
I couldn’t do this without a really involved partner and a community of people around us. In the consulting industry, we tend to take on a lot, and we’re all really high achievers. It took me a while to realize that I can’t do everything by myself. Foster some kind of community around you, whether it’s your partner, family or friends—this is the only way that I’d be able to do this.
I’ve gotten to the point where I’ve become more comfortable speaking up...We should be ok with telling our clients that we are unavailable at certain times, otherwise we will risk burnout and attrition. We have to meet people where they are, and as leaders, we have to be protective of our teams so that they can be as impactful as possible.
You have to set boundaries and manage expectations, but something that I’ve learned is being careful about how much and what you share, and who your audience is. Be mindful in how you talk about where you need flexibility and what you need from the team, always giving credence to what it means for them. It can’t be one-sided, and you can’t expect your team members to always understand the challenges you are facing.
My wife works in sales and her fiscal year ends in Q4 and often takes place over the holiday season, which is when West Monroe is closed. This time off allows me to take a more hands on role with my 3 kids and provide dedicated space for my wife to focus on her work and clients.
Having paid leave is a big differentiator for us. I’ve been pregnant at two different companies now, and the support I’ve gotten at West Monroe has been unparalleled. The postpartum care here was also a big benefit for me. We offer many benefits, from family planning through postpartum care. I struggled with postpartum depression and anxiety, and I was able to easily access mental health resources. I also utilized the Maven Milk service that we offer when I was traveling for work, which allowed me to ship breast milk home. This gave me peace of mind knowing that I could get milk back to my daughter and not worry.
Whether you’re considering starting a family or years into your parenthood journey, we know how important it is to feel supported both personally and professionally. As Karen shared, it’s important to “be prepared to give yourself grace. Don’t put pressure on yourself to have a set plan. You can never truly know what expanding your family will mean to you until it happens.”
Whether it’s finding your village, setting boundaries, or managing expectations with colleagues, it’s important that “we talk about community” Kevin said. “I wish that people know that there are so many people in a parent’s corner cheering them on.”
West Monroe is proud to offer numerous benefits that support working parents, including paid parental leave, Dependent Care FSA, Back-Up Care through Bright Horizons, and access to Maven Maternity—which includes 24/7 access to virtual care ranging from prenatal support to pediatric support and free breast milk shipping when traveling for work.
West Monroe also has a Consulting Moms Group that was created to help build a community for working mothers in the organization. The group has an integrated buddy system to support employees that have shared similar experiences in their parenting journey.
As a Great Place to Work for Parents, we focus on our people and try to empower each person to bring their best selves to work—and we know that combines and embraces personal and professional experiences.