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Mothers at PhonePe: Creating a supportive and welcoming workplace for mothers

PhonePe Editor|3 min read|31 March, 2022

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PhonePe has consistently made efforts to be an inclusive workplace and has taken a number of steps to provide a nurturing, supportive and welcoming environment for all its employees. These progressive efforts were formalised last year with the onset of our Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) initiative.

As part of this, we recently launched the Mothers@PhonePe program aimed at providing a flexible and supportive environment for expecting mothers so that they can seamlessly transition back to the workplace, when they are ready.

What the program offers

The program is aimed at enabling working mothers to excel and grow in the organisation as they adapt to a more complex home life. The goal is to help both young mothers and their managers get comfortable with big changes, and to empower mothers to take more control of their careers. Towards this end, the program focuses on two aspects — benefits and policy elements that clarify expectations; and building awareness and perspectives that help build a culture of support.

From a policy perspective the program provides:

FlexBen policies

Cover for 6 months of primary caregiver leave and 4 months extended leave, ongoing flexible work options for 4 months (pre/post), maternity expense reimbursement and transportation expense reimbursement during pregnancy including driver salary for employees travelling in personal transportation.

Facilities Support Programs

Fully equipped mother’s rooms, nap rooms, on site doctor’s clinic, on site ambulance support and a 2500 sq ft creche including any ergonomics requirements specific to the pregnancy, allowing parents to bring their best selves to work without any worries.

Wellness program

This is in partnership with top-notch counselling and wellness services to help with mental and physical well being. This program comprises a complete suite of services covering all types of parental needs not only for the employee but also for their spouse. The program includes parental counselling, parental support groups to cater to various stages of pregnancy, parental workshops based on common needs in the organisation and support resources in the form of parental toolkits for reference.

In addition, the organisation is also helping change the mindsets and culture, and creating a supportive environment through the following:

Manager education and awareness program acknowledges the criticality of managers in ensuring a smooth transition for new mothers. The intent is to ensure periodic dialogue of mothers-to-be with their managers and to support managers in handling each situation with empathy vs. a one size fits all approach. These conversations include:

  • Scenarios for flexible work arrangements
  • General asks from employees
  • Challenging any traditional mindsets/myths/assumptions around maternity
  • Communication strategies recommended and
  • Emphasis on having career conversations with the employee, and understand their ambitions, plans and expectations while assigning new roles

The Buddy for Mothers @PhonePe program pairs expecting mothers to other PhonePe employees who have gone through the transition journey themselves over monthly catch-ups. To maximise effectiveness, both managers and buddies are provided guidance and training so they know what to expect and how to help. A buddy for Mothers @PhonePe is:

  • preferably a working mother with PhonePe who has a professional experience post becoming a mother
  • Someone who has experienced similar complexities around parenting and is willing to share their experiences covering varied areas like ways of integrating work & life, such as the sleepless nights, non-existent ‘me-time’, weighing up the sacrifice of a cat-nap or a quick snack and just learning the steps as you go

We aim to make motherhood inclusive

  • Apart from making the ecosystem supportive for new mothers, we felt the need to make the entire motherhood experience joyful and memorable for all employees. We do this by celebrating the joy with the employee through team interactions, gifts and regular communication with the employee to make them stay in touch with the organisation.
  • Make the employee also aware of what they can expect from the organisation and their managers
  • The goal here is to make this an integral part of our inclusive culture and build an organisation that’s supportive and stands with the employee during this milestone in life.

We understand that normalising Mothers@work requires us to also normalise parenting and nudge fathers to play a more active role in the parenting process. As an inclusive employer, we also want to ensure that the parenting duties are not limited to traditional gender roles, enabling same-sex couples to also effectively leverage the program.

Towards this end, we launched the parents@phonepe initiative — a program that covers secondary caregivers, thus promoting a balanced distribution of responsibilities among new parents. This program is available to all employees across genders and varied family compositions including but not limited to adoptive parents, single parents, etc. All parental benefits offered remain the same across levels and are designed keeping in mind equal adoption by all employees.

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