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In another small victory for breastfeeding working moms, IBM has just announced they will begin shipping pumped breast milk home for any employees who are traveling for work and still nursing. This is a huge step forward for the tech giant, which made the move in an effort to retain and attract female employees, who currently make up 29% of their workforce.
And we think it's a stellar move.
It's just one less thing for nursing working moms to have to worry about—as anyone who has had to frantically ship home bags of breast milk on dry ice after paying a small fortune can attest. And dealing with pesky airport security? A thing of the past!
According to IBM spokesperson Carrie Altieri, the company came up with the idea after a participants in a working moms focus group expressed concern over the matter. And while the company has no idea how many of its 400,000 employees will be taking advantage of this new perk, Barbara Brickmeier, vice president of benefits at IBM, says it doesn't matter and that "[a]s long as it appeals to a segment of our population and they feel that they can better balance their work and home, we will continue it."
While the details have yet to be nailed down, IBM is hoping its moms can use a smartphone app to have a temperature-controlled package delivered straight to their hotels. And while this is just one small way to support working moms, hopefully other large companies will follow suit (and maybe toss in some extended maternity leave while they're at it!).
And that noise you hear? It's the sound of cheering from hardworking moms as they realize they will no longer have to pump and dump while away from their babies. Because, seriously, pumping and dumping is THE. WORST. Go IBM!