World Childless Week was founded in 2017. Since then, on the second week of every September, the community raise awareness around those who find themselves unexpectedly leading lives without children. They work towards helping those childless not by choice (cnbc) find support groups and tackle their grief.
5 ways you can make a difference at work
- Direct colleagues towards the World Childless Week website
- Discuss the possibility of a childless not by choice network in your school
- Consider a more discreet way going forwards to celebrate pregnancy announcements and collections for staff going on maternity leave which painful for those cnbc
- Make staff aware that ‘flexible working’ requests can be made by everyone
- Remind staff that they should not be asking colleagues if they want children
Direct colleagues towards the World Childless Week Website
Every day this week there will be a different theme of childlessness to explore in the following topics and taboos:
Childlessness and Sexual Intimacy
Leaving a Legacy
Men Matter Too
Have you considered adoption
We are worthy
Launch a childless not by choice network
‘A Future Family’ is a blog post by Vonnie Raw about childlessness in the workplace. In this article she compares the uncomfortable conversation of childlessness at work to ‘sex in the Victorian times and death today’.
At the time of writing the blog Raw was organising a childless not by choice network in her workplace that was for men and women, dismissing HR’s idea to make it a sub-group of the women’s network; she wanted the network to apply to both men and women who were childless not by choice.
Encourage discreet pregnancy announcements
Thoughtfulness goes a long way. Collections for a new baby and a staff baby shower are triggering for those whose journey of trying to start a family have come to an end. Make this easier for them by keeping any announcements to email, and baby showers for outside of work. Childless employees are often expected to deal with these difficult milestones.
Make staff aware that flexible working requests are for everyone
The flexible working law came in to force in 2014. The policy states that every employee has the right to request working flexibly as long as they have worked for the same employer for 26 weeks.
In her book Living the Life Unexpected, Jody Day of Gateway Women- a community for women who are childless not by choice, or by circumstance, discusses the impact of childless women feeling the pressure to work harder at work:
‘I totally support women’s rights to have children and a job; I’ve got no problem with that at all. What I resent is that employers are using the taboo of childlessness to push the extra work created by some mothers’ uneven presence in the work-place onto their childless colleges…’
Remind staff that they shouldn’t be asking colleagues if they want to have children
It’s a triggering and personal question masked as friendly chat. Yes some colleagues might be happy to chat about their future baby names and how many children they hope for- but it’s ignorant to assume everyone will fit this bill.
Instead, they could be:
Childless not by choice
Childless by circumstance
Trying for a baby
Childfree by choice
You can read more about why we need to stop asking colleagues if they want children here.
There you have it, 5 solutions to make a difference to staff cnbc this week and beyond. Comment below with any further suggestions.
You can follow World Childless Week on Twitter @ChildlessWeek