This was the reality for working moms in 2017

One clear takeaway: To achieve gender equality at work, we need more policies and programs that empower women.

This was the reality for working moms in 2017

From sexual harassment to miserly maternity benefits, the headlines painted a grim picture for working women, and moms in particular, in 2017. But there are plenty of signs pointing toward progress—especially with the number of female CEOs in Fortune 500 companies rising by 50% this year alone. ?

Here’s what else we learned about workplace gender equality and opportunities for working moms in 2017:

1. For the first time since 2006, the gender pay gap is widening

According to the World Economic Forum, 2017 was the first year since they began tracking results that the gender pay gap was worsening—with women earning about $0.80 for every dollar a man makes. (It’s worse still for women of color.)


Although it is predicted that it will take more than 200 years for that gap to be eliminated, there is reason for hope: Because millennial women are going further with higher education than millennial men, some experts believe the gender pay gap will be a thing of the past much sooner than the 23rd century.

2. Workplace gender equality is a big predictor of women’s job satisfaction

According to the newly released Women in the Workplace report from Fairygodboss, 58% of women believe their employer doesn’t treat male and female employees equally. But for those who do believe they get the same treatment as their male co-workers, overall job satisfaction tends to rise.

When ranking their satisfaction on a scale of one to five (with five being very happy), only 9% of women who ranked their happiness as a five said there was still gender inequality in the office. On the other hand, 80% of women who put their satisfaction at a one said men got favorable treatment.

3. Women care more about job flexibility and company culture than men

Seventy percent of mothers with children younger than 18 also participate in the workforce, according to the latest Department of Labor statistics. So it stands to reason that women are concerned with finding jobs that allow them to strike something of a work-life balance: Fairygodboss reports male job-seekers prioritize career growth opportunities while women are on the look-out for companies that offer flexibility, good social missions and remote work abilities.

4. Maternity leave benefits are (slowly) on the rise

According to the Society for Human Resource Management’s 2017 Employee Benefits report, 30% of organizations offered paid maternity leave—which was up from 26% in 2016. That’s definitely moving in the right direction and will, hopefully, continue to advance, especially as employers are recognizing that there is a direct correlation between parental leave benefits and employee satisfaction.

5. Sexual harassment is coming to light—finally

In the year that the #MeToo movement was sparked, more women have come forward with stories about the sexual harassment they faced on the job with 43% reporting to Fairygodboss that they had been victimized. Of those, the most common form of harassment was verbal—but a full 50% of women who had been harassed said it was physical in nature.

The encouraging news is that nearly half of the women polled said they believe more media attention will help reduce workplace harassment. Reports show employers are also responding with improved policies that aim to give female employees safe ways to report their experiences.

One clear takeaway from 2017: In order for us to achieve gender equality at work, we need more policies and programs that empower women.

So, let’s keep advocating for ourselves. Keep showing people how it’s done. And keep showing up... Our voices are needed more than ever.

Why do all of my good parenting or baby-focused inventions come after they've already been invented by someone else? Sigh.

Like the Puj hug hooded baby towel, aka the handiest, softest cotton towel ever created.

Safely removing a wet, slippery baby from the bath can be totally nerve-wracking, and trying to hold onto a towel at the same time without soaking it in the process seems to require an extra arm altogether. It's no wonder so much water ends up on the floor, the countertops, or you(!) after bathing your little one. Their splashing and kicking in the water is beyond adorable, of course, but the clean up after? Not as much.

It sounds simple: Wash your child, sing them a song or two, let them play with some toys, then take them out, place a towel around them, and dry them off. Should be easy, peasy, lemon squeezy, right?

But it hasn't been. It's been more—as one of my favorite memes says—difficult, difficult, lemon difficult. Because until this towel hit the bathtime scene, there was no easy-peasy way to pick up your squirming wet baby without drenching yourself and/or everything around you.

Plus, there is nothing cuter than a baby in a plush hooded towel, right? Well, except when it's paired with a dry, mess-free floor, maybe.

Check out our favorites to make bathtime so much easier:

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Time-saving formula tips our editors swear by

Less time making bottles, more time snuggling.

As a new parent, it can feel like feeding your baby is a full-time job—with a very demanding nightshift. Add in the additional steps it takes to prepare a bottle of formula and, well… we don't blame you if you're eager to save some time when you can. After all, that means more time for snuggling your baby or practicing your own well-deserved self-care.

Here's the upside: Many, many formula-feeding mamas before you have experienced the same thing, and they've developed some excellent tricks that can help you mix up a bottle in record time. Here are the best time-saving formula tips from editors here at Motherly.

1. Use room temperature water

The top suggestion that came up time and time again was to introduce bottles with room temperature water from the beginning. That way, you can make a bottle whenever you need it without worrying about warming up water—which is a total lifesaver when you have to make a bottle on the go or in the middle of the night.

2. Buy online to save shopping time

You'll need a lot of formula throughout the first year and beyond—so finding a brand like Comforts, which offers high-quality infant formula at lower prices, will help you save a substantial amount of money. Not to mention, you can order online or find the formula on shelves during your standard shopping trip—and that'll save you so much time and effort as well.

3. Pre-measure nighttime bottles

The middle of the night is the last time you'll want to spend precious minutes mixing up a bottle. Instead, our editors suggest measuring out the correct amount of powder formula into a bottle and putting the necessary portion of water on your bedside table. That way, all you have to do is roll over and combine the water and formula in the bottle before feeding your baby. Sounds so much better than hiking all the way to the kitchen and back at 3 am, right?

4. Divide serving sizes for outings

Before leaving the house with your baby, divvy up any portions of formula and water that you may need during your outing. Then, when your baby is hungry, just combine the pre-measured water and powder serving in the bottle. Our editors confirm this is much easier than trying to portion out the right amount of water or formula while riding in the car.

5. Memorize the mental math

Soon enough, you'll be able to prepare a bottle in your sleep. But, especially in the beginning or when increasing your baby's serving, the mental math can take a bit of time. If #mombrain makes it tough to commit the measurements to memory, write up a cheat sheet for yourself or anyone else who will prepare your baby's bottle.

6. Warm up chilled formula with water

If you're the savvy kind of mom who prepares and refrigerates bottles for the day in advance, you'll probably want to bring it up to room temperature before serving. Rather than purchase a bottle warmer, our editors say the old-fashioned method works incredibly well: Just plunge the sealed bottle in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes and—voila!—it's ready to serve.

Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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It's 2020. The world is changing. It's hard to believe but the old decade is over, the new one is here and it is bringing a lot of new life with it. The babies born this year are members of Generation Alpha and the world is waiting for them.

We're only a few months into the new year and there are already some new celebrity arrivals making headlines while making their new parents proud.

If your little one arrived (or is due to arrive) in 2020, they've got plenty of high profile company.

Here are all the celebrity babies born in 2020 (so far):

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