SHANGHAI, China — When Ford China communications specialist Carolyn Yang returned to work after 4-months’ maternity leave, she had concerns about how to continue to provide breast milk for her new born son.
“I heard that some working new mums still express their milk during breaks at work and take it home to feed babies for the best nutrition compared to formula milk,” said Yang. “I decided to do that also, but there’s no dedicated place to do that in the office building, so I used restrooms or empty meeting rooms, which was far from ideal.”
Yang decided to ask Human Resources whether they would be willing to set up a room for new mothers and soon-to-be- mums to allow them some privacy.
“To be honest, I didn’t expect that the company would especially do that for us, a very small portion of people at the office,” Yang added.
A surprise arrived the day after Christmas Day when Yang received an email from the Human Resource department announcing that as part of the company’s Great Place to Work strategy, a New Mother’s Room in Shanghai, home of Ford Asia Pacific and Africa and Ford China, had been constructed for female employees to use.
“We recognize there are more and more working mums in the company and the need for a dedicated room for them had become greater,” said Michael Huang, office and facility supervisor, Ford China. “Executives at the company were all very supportive of the idea and urged us to make it happen as soon as possible, so Janet Wu and I took lead of the room plan and construction, with great support of David Zhao from Ford Land team.”
“We especially asked female employees for color and layout preference to make the room more beautiful and cozy. This is just the first step, in the future, when we have more space, we’d love to enlarge this room and make it nicer to serve those hard working new mothers,” added Huang.
The room is divided into three individual spaces. There is a small table, a comfortable chair with footrest and a box of tissue in each space. Private, bright and clean, a perfect place for new mothers with special requirements.
“The New Mother’s Room gives new mums at work a warm and private space. The room is very comfortable and also useful. Good work Ford! I’m saying ‘Thank you’ on behalf of my little baby boy,” said one Ford female employee from Ford China.
“I tried out the New Mother’s Room last week; it’s very clean and comfortable. As a new mother, I was very moved by this thoughtful arrangement. It really shows how the company cares for female employees. This certainly makes Ford a better employer to work for,” said Ivy Zhang, a Shanghai-based Chinese editor with the Ford APA Content Factory.
“I’m very happy to see the company really took our needs and requirements into consideration. I love my son and I also enjoy being back at work, and now the company has provided us with even more opportunity to ensure a great work life balance,” said Yang.
Three individual spaces in the room, private, clean and comfortable.