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Creating An Award-Winning Workplace Where Parents Are Supported

Katrina Mader and her kids at the Workiva Ames office (pre-COVID)
December 2, 2020

Workiva was recognized on the 2020 Best Workplaces for Parents list by Great Place to Work. In honor of the award, members of the It Takes Village Employee Resource Group share how Workiva has supported them – especially during a challenging year. Katrina Mader is a co-founder of this group which brings together caregivers and their allies to advocate for, educate, and empower one another. 


 

From Katrina

Children: 4 and 6 years

 

katrina-m-kids-en

 

Creating a work-life balance is often presented as easily attainable, something to just check off a list. But now more than ever, the concept of work-life balance eludes many of us.

The truth is, human balancing acts are never "one and done."

If you balanced a book on your head, you wouldn't just put it up there and go about your day. You'd make adjustments and frequently recalibrate, walk slower or shorten your strides to maintain the balance. Any time you multitask, you have to reduce your effort on one item to complete the other at an equal pace. Generally, neither task gets your full attention and both take longer. It requires you to adjust, recalibrate and shift your priorities as you go to ensure both things get done.

As a program manager, a mother, a wife, a daughter, a granddaughter-in-law, alongside many other things - the practice of sustaining this work-life balancing act is not only exhausting - it's disheartening. On days when I can't give each faction of my life the priority and full focus that I feel it deserves, it can seem as though I am disappointing everyone.

Workiva has provided me the resources, support and grace that I need to attempt such a balance. Thanks to flexible work arrangements, personal and frequent one-on-ones with my manager, engagement and acknowledgment of our struggles from executive management, affordable benefits, and a thriving HR-driven, yet, employee-run set of Employee Resource Groups, I feel like I have a chance. I can put my family first and still grow professionally. I can be a respected, effective program manager without sacrificing all the other things that I am. And I can be my complete self both at work and at home.

 

More from our Village:

 

From Meghan G.

Child: 20 months

 

Meghan and Jeff G with their baby, Isla.

 

My dream of motherhood was realized, in part, thanks to Workiva. 
After some devastating losses and learning our journey to parenthood needed the help of a Reproductive Endocrinologist, my husband and I were worried about what that would look like financially. We were blown away when we realized that Workiva provided fertility benefits, including IVF, which was the recommended course of treatment for us. We moved forward with the IVF process and in 2019 welcomed our sweet rainbow baby.

The support from Workiva wasn't just about the fertility benefits though. It was affordable acupuncture and chiropractic sessions throughout my infertility journey, it was a supportive boss, understanding coworkers, paid parental leave, and an employee resource group called, "It Takes a Village." I felt comfortable sharing this part of my life with my work family. There is nothing better than feeling like you can bring your whole self to work, especially on the hard days. The empathy and care this company promotes is something totally special and totally "Workiva."

 

From Lauren S.

Children: 2.5 years, 4.5 years

 

lauren-s-with-family-en

 

As a new mom I struggled through postpartum – at times not even realizing I was struggling. The unwavering support, encouragement and even personal stories I received from my managers and above played a huge role in my confidence and ability to ask for help. I’m currently utilizing our Flexible Work Arrangement (on top of the already amazing flexibility). This has allowed me to be the best version of myself personally (mom/wife/daughter) and professionally. And as my roles and priorities continue to change throughout life, I know Workiva will be right there to support me along the way.

 

From Megan H.

Children: 6 months and 2.5 years old

 

I couldn’t be the Mom I am today without Workiva, and I couldn’t be the employee I am without my family.

 

From Mike D.

Children: 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, and 12 years

 

Mike D and his daughter Bella Rose at the Workiva office, pre-COVID lockdown.

 

We have a large family, and my wife stays at home and homeschools our brood (yes, I'm married to a saint). Workiva has been super flexible in accommodating all the appointments and events that come up for us during the year. In fact, it's always the highlight of my kids' year to come to the office on their birthday for lunch (yes, the food is just that good).


The benefits are great and I never have to worry if we're covered for this or that. And now, during the era of WFH, the continued support of Workiva has been on display, with encouragement and understanding from the top down. From the CEO to my manager and co-workers, the compassion and empathy resonates through all. In short, Workiva isn't just a company, or my employer, it's an extension of my family and one that truly cares about our well-being.

 

From Mike R.

Children: 3 and 7 years

 

Mike R with his kids at his home office.

 

Everyone at Workiva who I talked to, from peers, to my direct manager, and up to our COO, has asked about how things are going on a regular basis. They know and care about the personal struggle for those of us who are juggling children and work. Just being asked how it's going and the encouragement to take time off where I’m able is very reassuring.

 

 

Interested in joining the Workiva team? Visit workiva.com/careers!

 

About the Author

Katrina joined Workiva in 2010 and works as a Program Manager on the Education Services team. Katrina has initiated and managed several programs including our CPE program and the first versions of our internal product training. Katrina and her husband, Michael, have both worked in and with many teams at Workiva. They enjoy bringing their children in for lunches and quick visits. Brooke (6) and Reid (4) especially like to sit at Mom and Dad’s desks, browse the snacks, and see all of the Workiva dogs!

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