Family-Friendly Lockheed Martin Sets the Bar for Working Mothers
It can be remarkably difficult for breastfeeding mothers to get back into the swing of things at work after welcoming a new baby. Support from employers and coworkers can ease this transition, and assist new moms in balancing professional responsibilities with personal priorities. In MMBNT's hometown of Fort Worth, many employers provide parent-friendly accommodations for their employees - including one high-profile company, Lockheed Martin.
A longtime supporter of Mothers' Milk Bank of North Texas, Lockheed Martin is one of the largest aerospace and global security companies in the United States. Its Fort Worth campus is located just a few miles from the milk bank.
Helping working mothers who breastfeed is a high priority for the company. Women who need to pump during working hours have access to more than 30 mothers' rooms. These private spaces include a comfortable chair, refrigerator, table, paper towel dispenser and trash can, all considered luxuries by mothers who don't have to endure pumping challenges in an ill-equipped bathroom.
"Lockheed Martin is committed to providing an inclusive workplace environment where every employee is able to show up as their true authentic self," Crystal Patton, a company spokesperson, said. "This includes working mothers who choose to breastfeed, nurse and pump to support their children and families."
For an added layer of privacy, the rooms are accessed by a push-button passcode, which is only given out to employees who have registered with the company's Human Resources Operations team. Through the team's mothers' room calendar, employees can reserve dates and times to use the rooms.
Additionally, all employees at the Fort Worth campus have access to Uniting Parents, an employee network which aims to provide personal and professional support during all stages of parenthood. The group creates a space for employees to lean on one another, exchange resources and share their own experiences as parents.
For example, the group recently compiled a list of airports with mothers' rooms or portable nursing pods to help mothers maintain their nursing or pumping schedule while on business travel, which is a significant part of the job for many employees.
Lockheed Martin employee Natasha Buck co-founded Uniting Parents, and support from the organization as well as the mothers' room accommodations have helped her meet her breastfeeding goals. "If I hadn't been able to pump at work, I would have had to stop, but it has been almost 29 months and I'm still nursing," Natasha said. "I was able to build up my supply and donate almost four gallons of breastmilk."
Quality engineer Kelly Lloyd also experiences the benefits of the company's accommodations firsthand. She appreciates having so many mothers' rooms on campus, ensuring there is always one close by, and the ease of reserving them for use. Overall, the support she's received at work has been essential.
"Working in an organization that fully supports work-life balance and being home to spend time with family has been huge," Kelly said.
Family-friendly workplaces can truly make an impactful difference in employees' lives. We applaud Lockheed Martin for its dedication to employees, as well as other organizations in our community who share similar values and provide accommodations for working mothers.