Did you know that it is World Breastfeeding Week and that the month of August is also Breastfeeding Month?! What better way to celebrate this important annual celebration than to announce Working Moms of Milwaukee’s 2020 Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace Award Winners in the Milwaukee Area!
Nominees were evaluated on the following criteria
- Lactation rooms and overall privacy
- Accommodations for mothers to store their milk during the workday
- Ease of washing pump parts at work
- Overall description, leadership and company support of breastfeeding and pumping moms
- Quality of nomination
Nominees were judged by a panel of working mothers in our Milwaukee Mom Force network.
It is our hope that by highlighting these five employers, other local organizations will be encouraged to improve conditions and accommodations for working mothers. It's time to normalize breastfeeding and we are ready for Milwaukee employers to do better. We all deserve better.
Working Moms of Milwaukee's Mom Force knows there is a lot of work to be done in our Milwaukee community, but we also know some of our local employers are already doing their part.
Please note: some of our nominations came in before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as during the COVID-19 pandemic. The information in this article was obtained by mothers and employees at these companies. Some information may vary today as working from home, and other employer/employee accommodations and changes have occurred.
We would like to take this time to recognize and congratulate the 2020 Top 5 Breastfeeding Friendly Workplaces in the Milwaukee Area (in no particular order).
There are roughly 6 pumping rooms that are very easy to book and use. They are locked, private rooms with a mirror, mini fridge, phone, table and cleaning supplies, as well as a comfortable chair. There are also cabinets or lockers that mothers can request a key too as well. Manpower Group has been making huge strides at updating policies for modern families and mothers.
There are several lactation rooms, which are totally private, have comfortable chairs and tables for the mothers’ personal items. They all have a mini fridge, and some have a sink to wash pump parts. The rooms also have an “in use” flag sign outside as well as a notebook the nursing moms can write back and forth with.
Leaders support pumping and growing families. When employees have a new baby, an all-partner email goes out announcing the “New Junior Partner”. As one mother puts it, “New babies are prioritized, valued and loved by the company.”
Ascension Elmbrook Memorial Hospital in Brookfield offers a private locked room that has a key you sign out from their OB floor and other pumping rooms throughout. In the pumping room on the OB floor there is nice lighting, a rocking chair, a Medela hospital grade pump, a table, a microwave, a sink, dawn soap, and soap/paper towels. The employees on the OB floor are so nice and so encouraging.
The housekeeping team makes sure to keep up with cleaning the room. Coworkers are very understanding and accommodating for pumping.
GMR Marketing encourages employees to work with their managers to find work/life balance, especially as a new parent—whether that be a flex work schedule or working from home when needed.
The company's New Berlin headquarters offers two wellness rooms—one on each floor of the building. Though called wellness rooms, the primary purpose is to serve as comfortable accommodations for nursing mothers.
Each wellness room has a refrigerator for milk, plus plenty of cabinet space for storage of pumping equipment or bags. The fridges are tucked away in the rooms and out of the main areas—no employee lunches allowed. Both rooms have a full-sized sink with dish soap, cleaning supplies and towels. The rooms are cleaned daily.
Wellness rooms also feature adjustable lighting, wireless network access, first-aid kits, décor and furniture including a comfortable chair with footrest and a table.
Both wellness rooms are easily accessible and private, with locking doors and no windows. The rooms can be reserved multiple ways—via email, room booking app or on tablets located outside each room. The tablets clearly display if the room is in use or not.
Although there are no dedicated pumping locations at the restaurants, management is supportive and accommodating. A mother who worked at the Rumpus Room mentioned that the executive chef gave up his office as needed to accommodate a pumping mom which was located down a quiet hallway.
“I'm a bartender. Working in a restaurant is hard when you're a nursing mother. It's rare that such an establishment respects, encourages, and facilitates pumping.”
Regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, Bartolotta restaurants closed even before the state was mandated to. One mother reacts, “It helped to keep our staff and guests safer. All perishable and non-perishable inventory was liquidated to staff for free.”
A very supportive environment for moms in the service industry.
Congratulations 2020 Winners!
Read about our 2019 Winners here