This Mother’s Day, we reflect on everything our moms do to hold the world together, especially in uncertain times

As we celebrate Mother’s Day, our social media feeds are flooded with reminders about moms being the glue that holds the world together. But in addition to Zoom calls with the important women in our lives Sunday — whether they are our mothers, grandmothers, aunts, wives, sisters, teachers, friends, or something else — we’d like to take a moment to honor those incredible women who are, indeed, superheroes.

We can all pretty much agree: mothers have the hardest job in the world under normal circumstances! At Dropbox, we’re constantly making efforts to recognize our working moms by encouraging the adoption of flexible work schedules so that they can make room for the needs of their families. Calendar blocks to pick kids up from school, take them to extracurricular activities, take care of other family needs, and otherwise achieve a strong work/life balance have always been a part of our culture.

Megan’s son enjoying activity time

Additionally, last year we announced our new parental leave policy, which ensures that all parents who welcome a new child, whether they are birthing, non-birthing, or adoptive, will now be entitled to 24 weeks of paid new child leave. We want to make sure our moms know that they have the time they need to adapt to their new, changing roles — while having the security of knowing their job will be there waiting for them when they return to work.

And now that most moms are home with their children 24/7, trying to work, teach, cook, and keep everyone safe and sane all at the same time, their jobs have become even more challenging. While we can’t exactly eliminate many of the challenges our working mothers face right now, we can make sure we keep them from becoming too difficult or overwhelming, and work to help our team members overcome obstacles instead of creating them ourselves.

”Flexible working… when your child not only joins your team meeting, but attends with his hand down your shirt.” — Megan Ward

This has made all the difference for Senior People Analyst Megan Ward. “Dropbox is my second company since becoming a parent. Even though this company is composed of a much younger population of employees, and fewer parents, it has provided a level of support that is far superior. This has been even further demonstrated during our mandatory WFH. It is a really wonderful feeling to be comfortable openly being an imperfect parent and knowing that I can walk away from a meeting mid-sentence to take care of a child if I need to without any concerns or judgement. Seeing senior leaders acting as parents (with children interrupting Zoom calls, taking PTO, or working flexible hours) also instills the fact that this level of support truly comes from the top-down and that it is okay to truly put your family first. I feel very lucky to be a part of a company that has so many wonderful coworkers showing us what it means to live out our ‘Make Work Human’ value.”

In an internal email, our VP of People Melanie Collins wrote, “While we are all facing a number of challenges with remote work, this situation has had an exponential impact on working parents. With many schools and daycares closed, our parents have been tasked with another full-time job that is of critical importance and must be prioritized during this time… expecting them to ask for exceptions or flexibility is not enough; we have to find creative ways to support them (and each other) in order to create space, and this includes new structures, practices, and behaviors.”

A glimpse at Megan’s calendar, with regular schedule blocks for teaching and family time. DNS = Do not schedule

Mel outlined some other ways we can all help parents succeed in a distributed work environment. These include scheduling virtual team breakfasts or lunches that include kids as part of the fun, designating delegates who can act as stand-ins for busy parents when needed, and appointing a team member in meetings who records summaries and action items so that those who were unable to attend can quickly catch up.

Dropboxers have truly taken these suggestions to heart, which has helped not only long-time employees, but brand new team members like Executive Recruiter Liz Nuzzo, who said, “I’m officially one week in! It may not be the easiest of times to start a new position with a new company, but the people at Dropbox have made it a smooth transition (wish I could say the same of my office mates.)”

Liz and her “office mates” celebrate her first day — from home!

In short, moms, we just want to say: We see you. We salute you. And we are here for you! Thanks for being the superheroes we need right now. We’re by your sides as we navigate 2020 together. Happy Mother’s Day!

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