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For any new parent life, especially their new life, is a challenge, with lack of sleep, new scary responsibilities, and changing relationship dynamics.

But, add to those pressures the need to leave one’s baby and return to work and you’ve reached a whole new level. And yet, this is a dilemma faced by all working mums, everywhere.

So, in the latest episode of ‘the mentl space’ podcast, we sat down with Lamisse Muhtaseb, the HR director and people, inclusion and purpose lead at Deloitte Middle East, discussed the importance of initiatives in supporting working parents, particularly focusing on mothers returning from maternity leave.

The conversation, which took place at the Wellbeing at Work Summit in Dubai, shed light on the challenges faced by working mothers in balancing career aspirations with family commitments, highlighting the need for organizations to prioritize the well-being and support of returning parents.

5 Ways Companies Can Support Working Parents

1: Breaking Gender Stereotypes

Lamisse emphasized the societal expectations and biases faced by working mothers, pointing out the unequal pressures placed on women to choose between career and family. She highlighted the disparities in how men and women are viewed when it comes to balancing personal and professional life, stressing the need to challenge these traditional norms and create a more inclusive work environment.

2: Empowering Returning Parents

The discussion revolved around the Returnity program, designed to facilitate the smooth transition of parents back into the workforce after taking time off for family responsibilities. Lamisse highlighted the importance of personalized support systems for returning parents, allowing them to tailor their return plans based on individual needs, including considerations for well-being, work-life balance, and career progression.

3: Fostering a Supportive Culture

Lamisse underscored the significance of nurturing a supportive culture within organizations, where working parents, especially mothers, feel empowered to articulate their challenges and seek the necessary assistance. By creating a supportive ecosystem that prioritizes employee well-being and recognizes the diverse needs of parents, companies can cultivate a more inclusive and compassionate work environment.

4: Promoting Mental Health Awareness

The conversation delved into the mental health implications for mothers returning from maternity leave, with Lamisse sharing personal experiences and highlighting the importance of open dialogue and support mechanisms for addressing mental health challenges. By destigmatizing discussions around mental well-being and providing accessible resources, organizations can better support the holistic needs of returning parents.

5: Driving Organizational Change

Lamisse emphasized the role of organizational leadership in driving change towards a more inclusive and supportive workplace for working parents. By piloting initiatives like Raternity and actively seeking feedback from returning parents, companies can adapt their policies and practices to better accommodate the evolving needs of a diverse workforce, ultimately fostering a culture of empathy, flexibility, and empowerment.

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By addressing the challenges faced by returning parents, promoting mental health awareness, and advocating for gender equality in the workplace, organizations can pave the way for a more compassionate and sustainable work culture that values the well-being and success of all employees.