Leading Global Law Firm, White & Case LLP, Discusses Their Experience with Maven

Todd McCafferty, Benefits Manager at White & Case LLP, shares the impact Maven has made on his employees and company culture.

Maven: What issues around workplace retention did you need your family benefits solution to address?  

White & Case: As a law firm, we want to make sure that we retain our female associate attorneys. In the legal industry in general, over time we've seen gender parity in men and women in law schools. We've seen gender parity for men and women coming and being onboarded as young associates at major law firms. But there was some sort of bottleneck or filter where we weren't seeing that [at our partner level]. And part of that is because right around the time that many women are thinking about starting a family is when they have to demonstrate that they are partnership material. So they're going through the most stressful part of their career while thinking about making a very stressful change in their personal life as well. So we were working to alleviate at least one source of that stress, to help female associates be able to both take care of their work at home and take care of their work at the office. What Maven offers seemed to directly address some of the concerns that we were having, so we reached out, and we've been partners ever since.

 

Maven has offered so many resources to both mothers and fathers—before they go out on leave, while they're out, and when they come back.

 

Maven: How did you make the business case to key decision makers that partnering with a company like Maven was a smart investment?

White & Case has a strong value-based culture that includes supporting our employees in their personal endeavors. We needed to make a very logical connection that starting or growing a family is one of the most important personal endeavors that many of our employees are going to undertake while they're here. The second issue was to demonstrate that there's a meaningful return on investment. While I think the values issue is more important for us, we also had to make a case that this would provide meaningful savings.

Maven: What impact have you seen on pregnant employees and working parents who use this benefit?

White & Case: Maven has offered so many resources to both mothers and fathers—before they go out on leave, while they're out, and when they come back. We communicate with every individual that's going out on leave that Maven is available to them. We've seen almost everyone take it up to some degree. What Maven provides is a whole suite of benefits so employees don't have to necessarily take a half day off to go and meet with a lactation consultant in person or try to find a doula. They can use Maven's services on their phone or on their computer and reach out directly to the [practitioners] that they need information from. They can do that from work; they can do that from home, in the evening, on the weekends. So that flexibility is extremely important for our very, very busy associates.

Maven: You decided to offer your employees access to Maven’s fertility benefits—what has the response been?

With the fertility benefit, we didn't necessarily think that we would have a lot of people taking it up, but I think we misjudged our own population. We've seen that explode. After an initial communication—just a simple email communication that went out [to employees] announcing this benefit—we saw a number of people sign up immediately. I personally had people come up to me and thank me and our team at White & Case for putting this into place.

I think one of the main reasons that Maven's fertility benefits are so helpful is that the fertility landscape is very confusing. Through our medical insurer, White & Case already provides some fertility guidance. However, it's not at the level that Maven can provide. In addition to that, Maven has been able to partner with and talk directly with our other benefit providers that are related to fertility. So instead of an employee having to navigate two or three different sources of information, they can go directly to Maven who can provide them with all the information they need and tell them specifically, as a White & Case employee, "Here are the other benefits that you can utilize, and we'll hold your hand while you're using those." Maven's fertility program helps make a really confusing and scary process a lot simpler.

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We’re proud to see the tangible impact Maven is having on advancing women and families at White & Case while also helping to reduce healthcare costs. Click the request-a-demo button below to learn more about Maven.


What Protective Life Insurance Company is Saying About Maven

Bart Trench, Head of Benefits and Wellness at Protective Life, shares why partnering with Maven is a “win-win” for the company and its employees.

Why is having a family benefits partner like Maven important for Protective Life?

We're a life and annuity insurance company—we're in the business of protecting families. It's a natural extension that we want to take care of our employees as well.

We have, on average, about a 10-year tenure with our employees. At some point, they are probably going to start a family or add to their family while they're working with us. Starting a family or adding to your family is very expensive, and it can be complicated. Maven is a great partner for our employees and their spouses or domestic partners [who are in this life phase]. [Plus], pregnancy is a big cost. So providing services to our new parents through Maven is a win-win for both the company and for our employees.

 

Any number of obstacles might lead a woman to say, "It's too much to come back to work and deal with all of these things.” So the support that Maven provides during that process can be invaluable.

 

Why did you seek a digital healthcare solution in particular?

We try to be innovative. We try to use more digital technology for our customers, and we're trying to do that as well with our employees. Maven is a natural outgrowth of that. We get a lot of testimonials from our employees about how great it is. The cool thing with Maven is that—from when the maternity benefit starts, early on in pregnancy, to six months postpartum—there are all different touchpoints that our employees can use. So it fits the needs of the employees when they actually need the services.

A lot of women leave the workforce reluctantly after having a baby. What were some of the retention issues that you wanted to address?

Maybe you had a complicated pregnancy and you needed to take [extra] time off. Maybe that has dampened your spirits or made it challenging for you to think about going back to work after your leave. And then coming back to work, maybe you have lactation issues or mental health issues. Any number of obstacles might lead a woman to say, "It's too much to come back to work and deal with all of these things.” So the support that Maven provides during that process can be invaluable.

Why did you feel it was important for Protective Life employees to have access to Maven Milk, a breast milk shipping service?

The breast milk shipping program, Maven Milk, that we adopted is important from a lot of different standpoints—including diversity and inclusion [at our company]. Because if you think about women who need to travel for work, those assignments are often really important [opportunities] to go and advance their career. We don’t want women to have to make a choice such as: "I'm going to have to have my male colleague go [on the trip] because it’s just too complicated to express milk, keep it stored, take it back home"—and all of those issues that they have traditionally run into.

We have a large number of our employees who are wholesalers who are on the road a lot and spend a lot of nights in hotels. We think this is going to be a great way to break down any kind of barriers that a female wholesaler might have. With Maven Milk, it’s super easy to get the delivery kit and send milk back home.

How do you see the future of family benefits evolving at Protective Life? I think the future is continuing on the path that we have been on, [so that] parents don't have to choose between some of the challenges of raising a family and working and bringing their full selves to work. Anything that we continue to do for new families would be right in line with that, whether it's expansion of leave programs or continued support in the workplace for new parents. I'm a father of three and I'm super-proud of what Protective offers. I wish I had these kinds of services when I had my kids years ago!

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We’re proud to partner with Protective Life and help the company in its mission to support and advance women and families. Click the request-a-demo button below to learn more about Maven.


Q&A with a Maven OB-GYN: Some Parents Are Back at Work Before Their Baby Leaves the NICU

Every year, 10 to 15% of babies born in the U.S. end up in the NICU (neonatal intensive-care unit), with preterm births being the leading cause. The length of stay in a NICU varies, ranging from 4.9 days among infants born at 39-41 weeks to 46.2 days among infants born prematurely at 32 weeks or earlier. It’s no surprise that parents face unique hardships when returning to work after this experience. And the impact on companies can be profound from a retention, productivity, and cost standpoint. Here, Jackie Stone, M.D., a Maven OB-GYN, shares her insights on the work-related challenges and potential solutions.

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Q. What challenges do parents of NICU babies face when they return to work?

Any expectations a parent may have had of joy-filled moments with a newborn are often tempered as soon as their baby is whisked away to the NICU. Instead of thinking about heading home with their little one, they’re having difficult conversations about an ongoing stay in the hospital.

To understand the challenges of returning to work, first you have to understand the challenges surrounding leave for all parents—regardless of any complications. Unfortunately, the only federal law (the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) guaranteeing maternity leave in the U.S. is unpaid—and it doesn’t apply to all employees. Sure, some parents are lucky to be employed by one of the private employers that fund paid parental leave, but this is by no means the majority.

This means that for many people, leave time is too short. And when a baby has had a stay in the NICU, parents may be forced to parse out whatever leave they do have in ways that aren’t ideal. For instance, I’ve had patients return to work within just one week of giving birth (leaving other relatives to spend time with a baby who is still in the NICU and could be there for months) just to save what maternity leave they had for when their baby got to come home from the hospital. Other patients have spent all of their paid and unpaid leave by their new baby’s side in the NICU, only to return to work days after bringing their baby home.

 

The first thing is to make sure that parents have sufficient leave time (ideally paid) so that they can be with their infant in the NICU and still have some time with their infant after they come home.

 

Q. What mental health challenges do parents face following a child’s stay in the NICU?

Research shows that parents of babies in the NICU are diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at an alarming rate. One study showed that up to 60% of mothers and 47% of fathers develop PTSD within a year of their infant being admitted to the NICU. Another recent study found that symptoms of anxiety, depression, and PTSD can persist for months after a child is out of the NICU. It’s important to note that these symptoms are also common among parents of moderate and late-preterm infants (32-36 weeks) who usually thrive and ultimately do well—not only in parents of very preterm infants who typically have poorer outcomes.

Q. What are some ways that parents’ work lives are affected after having a baby in the NICU?

The symptoms related to the mental health issues I mentioned above—such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD—can have a direct impact on work. For instance, sleep deprivation and changes in mood can lead to decreased work performance when left untreated and when parents don’t have the support they need. What’s more, some very premature infants may have ongoing health problems, requiring that parents have more access to pediatricians and other doctors even after a baby leaves the NICU. Without a convenient way to check in with practitioners, parent may endure an added work stress of physically running to doctor’s appointments more than they need to.

Q. What do you wish everyone better understood about the experience about having a baby in the NICU?

While parents who experience a perinatal loss (a stillbirth or a baby who dies soon after birth) need to grieve, parents who have babies in the NICU may also go through a grieving process. They were likely expecting a normal, full term birth and a healthy baby—and accepting a different reality means grieving a huge loss.

Q: How can companies better support employees in this situation?

The first thing is to make sure that parents have sufficient leave time (ideally paid) so that they can be with their infant in the NICU and still have some time with their infant after they come home. I’ve seen so many parents unable to fully focus on their infant’s health needs as they would like to because they are concerned about losing their jobs if they do not return to work.

Another area where there’s plenty of room for more support: parental mental health. Access to mental health services for parents whose infants are in the NICU is vitally important. In fact, studies show that elevated maternal anxiety predicts worse outcomes for infants in the NICU. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, which can be done via telemedicine while the parents are in the hospital, has been shown to improve symptoms of anxiety in mothers with infants in the NICU. It’s also one of the mainstays of treatment for PTSD and depression. Often, medications to treat this disorder can also be prescribed via telemedicine.

Lastly, parents need convenient access to practitioners they trust as well as Care Coordinators who can help them navigate their next steps. There are so many things parents have to wrap their heads around that they may not understand—including hospital protocol for NICU babies and medical procedures their little one may need to receive. Making it easier for them to ask questions of trusted providers or get a second opinion can quickly alleviate their anxiety.