Working Moms and a RENEWed Wellness Room

by | Sep 7, 2023 | BRIGHT Culture

In 2008 Andrea Fenton Abbs founded BRIGHT Research Partners with a vision of providing clients with superb clinical research outcomes. As a working mother, she understood the challenges inherent to balancing quality deliverables with a quality of life. Andrea wanted to build a workplace where employees not only loved what they do, but where they could also be supported in finding a sustainable coexistence between that work and their personal life.

Statistics from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services show that women with children are the fastest-growing segment of the workforce. Parental support, especially for nursing mothers, has been a cornerstone of BRIGHT’s wellness culture since its inception and a focal point of BRIGHT’s RENEW wellness program. In fact, in 2021, BRIGHT was named a Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace by the Minnesota Department of Health in recognition of our commitment to supporting breastfeeding employees through a workplace lactation support program.

With Andrea’s encouragement and through multiple partnerships with the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce mspWellness program, BRIGHT has updated its beautiful and functional wellness room in our Minneapolis office, which is specially outfitted for nursing mothers and even our “BRIGHT babies”. Thanks to a recent microgrant awarded by the Chamber, we spent July and August (which is also National Breastfeeding Month), RENEWing this wellness space. The timing couldn’t have been better as we have a couple BRIGHT moms just returning from parental leaves and more babies on the way. The space now has a dedicated refrigerator, sound machine, dimmable lighting, a mirror, and side table. We even have a portable crib for babies who join mom or dad at work for the day! That is, of course, if BRIGHT coworkers allow the baby to go without being held for even a minute!

We’re also investing in some versatile exercise and stretching equipment to encourage employees to take breaks away from their desk chairs to stretch and build strength during the day. This is in addition to the Baker Center full-gym access offered as an employment benefit.

We appreciate the Chamber’s microgrant and note that this is not a one-and-done award or effort for us. We are proud of the continued commitment to our lactation support program and overall employee wellness at BRIGHT and look forward to future improvements as our team and office space grow. It’s important to make time for a little RENEWal, especially during the workday.

Pumping at work is like having a second job. Between the preparation the night before and the time away from my desk during the day, it can start to feel impossible. Having a dedicated space at the office has not only made it easier and more comfortable, but the way that the BRIGHT team has been so intentional with the design and organization of the space makes me feel even more supported in this journey. – Hannah B.

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