Working Moms of Milwaukee encouraging work spaces that are pro-mom

NOW: Working Moms of Milwaukee encouraging work spaces that are pro-mom

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- At any given day, Susannah Lago, founder and president of Working Moms of Milwaukee, is constantly on the move. She not only leads the organization but runs the mobile pop-up events and styling company called Style Up Group. She said years ago she'd always crave a support group of working moms to lean on or help one another. Almost five years ago, she made that happen.

"Working Moms of Milwaukee, we say it’s a community engagement organization because really it's bringing together the community in a lot of different ways. It's not just moms getting together but we've also brought in businesses both mom-owned businesses and corporations," said Lago.

The organization has welcomed about 3,000 members with a staff of a dozen, all representing diverse professional and personal backgrounds.

Working Moms of Milwaukee has changed the course of motherhood and the workforce locally by holding events, mom to mom support, and spreading awareness of the needs of mothers in the workforce.

For Lago, bringing attention to businesses that do accommodate working mothers was a way to ring the alarm for other work environments to do more.

"We really want to highlight the companies that are doing an outstanding job whether its being a pro-mom work place advocating for moms and making childcare easier or if it’s a place that has really amazing pumping lactations rooms for moms that are breastfeeding," said Lago.

The organization has recognized four local Milwaukee businesses with their "Pro-Mom Workplace Award" where these businesses are fighting, advocating and inspiring working mothers.

One of those businesses being Kane Communications Group, a PR, marketing and branding agency based in Milwaukee. Kimberly Kane, CEO and President of the company, said 99% of her employees are female and mothers.

"It’s an honor, an absolute honor to me to be the president and CEO of a company and to be able to lead like a woman," said Kane.

Kane Communications Group was founded in 2013 with the purpose of making it a mom-friendly environment. Kane said they purposefully chose the office to be on the 12th floor of 250 E Wisconsin Ave because it offers a "mothers' room." She said she wanted to prove and provide a work environment that, to its core, is family oriented.

On the other side of the city at 330 E Kilbourn Erin Strohnehn of Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin and Brown Law Firm, said they've revised human resources policies to make more family and mom friendly time off policies. They offer open paid time off, meaning unlimited time off as long as the work is done. That's one of the reasons they received the "Pro-Mom Award" from Working Moms of Milwaukee.

"We have a system that allows people to take off when they need to as long as they're getting their work done. We've also changed our child baring leave policies," said Strohbehn.

Strohbehn said it's not only necessary for mothers but also for future generations.

"Children of working moms earn more, they are in leadership positions and so you know the things that we're doing now is not only helping moms but they're helping the next generation," said Strohbehn.

Susannah Lago said with community and unity, anything and everything could be possible.

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