Major law firm adds Milk Stork benefit for working moms
Breast milk shipping company Milk Stork has partnered with Dentons, one of the world’s largest law firms, to offer its service to the organization’s new mothers.
Dentons reached out to Milk Stork in search of a new way to support their employee moms who are getting back to work. Employees had recommended Milk Stork to the firm and after some due diligence Dentons decided to seek a partnership, providing Milk Stork kits to those who need them. The kits include breast milk storage bags, a refrigerated box for packing and a tote if mothers choose to carry milk with them.
“It really sends a signal when such an important law firm like this supports women in this way,” says Kate Torgersen, founder and CEO of Milk Stork. “It really does move the needle in bringing visibility to working parenthood.”
More than 500 employers offer Milk Stork to employees in the U.S., and Torgersen expects that number to rise above 600 by the end of the year.
Staff at the law firm, including lawyers, professionals, paralegals and business services will be able to access Milk Stork at no cost while traveling on business, according to Dentons.
“There is often a lot of travel in the lawyer working world, and there is definitely a desire [on our part] to help new working parents,” says Lori Mihalich-Levin, a partner at Dentons and chair of the firm’s parent professional network. “A logical outgrowth of that desire to support and retain working parents was a desire to help them with the work travel.”
Milk Stork, which has shipped over two million ounces of breast milk since it was founded in 2015, has been growing rapidly this year, adding over 100 clients since May, including Hilton, Kohler, Oxfam, education tech company Everfi, Info Tech, Munger, Tolles & Olsen, Hyland and Oregon State University.
“I think what’s happening is that breastfeeding is now becoming normalized and working-motherhood is becoming normalized,” Torgersen says. “What women are experiencing in the workplace is becoming more visible and companies are [now helping] them in this critically transformative period of their lives.”
In March, Milk Stork launched its international pump and check program, which gives access to its services to working moms traveling out of the U.S. The program enables users to check their breast milk as luggage when traveling internationally. The program already has been used in 63 different countries.
Benefits specifically focused on working moms have been cropping up more as employees look to employers to help them balance their working and personal lives. About 71.5% of the labor force participation rate in 2018 were women with children under age 18, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Indeed, benefits such as these are a key factor in helping job seekers make an employment decision and in retaining current employees, according to data from Glassdoor. When asked what would make them more likely to apply for a job at a company, nearly half of U.S. workers/job seekers (48%) cited attractive benefits and perks.
“It’s important for an organization to recognize the struggles that moms face when choosing between their career and breastfeeding goals,” says Marshall Staton, HR director at Aeroflow Healthcare, a durable medical equipment supplier. “Because every mom has different needs, employees come back from maternity leave in a lot of different ways, and employers should prioritize helping to accommodate a smooth transition back into the workplace.”