New breastfeeding rooms at the Dos Bocas project in Mexico
A key part of the company’s drive to promote diversity and inclusion, help retain talent and encourage women to return to work after childbirth, the breastfeeding rooms initiative is one of the principal actions taken by the Techint Engineering & Construction’s Gender Subcommittee which is seeking to extend it to all offices and projects.
Two new breastfeeding rooms were inaugurated at the Dos Bocas project, in Mexico, during the month of August: one at the Refinery and the other at the Cogeneration plant, as part of Techint E&C's diversity and inclusion strategies. The idea is to raise awareness of this vital need for recent mothers and encourage all employees to develop greater empathy. The initiative is the brainchild of the company's Gender Group.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF recommend that newborns be exclusively fed with breast milk up until 6 months of age, and additionally, that infants of up to 2 years old should ideally be fed with a combination of breast milk and appropriate and nutritious foods for their age.
Returning to work is one of the main reasons why mothers stop breastfeeding their babies. “As a company, we want to increase the number of women working in the company and in order to do that, we must create the right conditions to attract and retain female personnel. We need to respect labor rights in favor of breastfeeding for working mothers, and ensure they have access to decent, private and comfortable spaces for expressing their milk," said Ana Karen Miranda, Head of HR in the Northern Area.
Techint E&C's first breastfeeding room was inaugurated in 2018, at its offices in São Paulo, Brazil. Today the company has 10 breastfeeding rooms in use: three in Ecuador (at the Quito offices, and the Auca and Shushufindi Projects), and one at the Lima offices in Peru; four in the Mexico City offices since 2019, plus the new ones at Dos Bocas and the Engineering Center in Monterrey, and two in Argentina (at the Torre Bouchard Plaza Building and Belgrano offices, both in Buenos Aires). Another six breastfeeding rooms are on schedule to be opened this year at the company’s projects in Mexico. In all cases, these spaces meet regulatory requirements in each region and are equipped with a refrigerator, table, sink, reclining chair, a door that can be locked, a trash can with a lid, and educational materials, as well as adequate lighting and ventilation.
Yes! It’s possible to be a mother and work at Techint E&C
“Breastfeeding rooms offer women a unique, safe place where they can comfortably pursue motherhood, ensuring they have access to equal opportunities to prosper in their career and can balance their responsibilities as mothers. This helps to foster a workplace environment where they don't have to choose between being a mother or having a career, promoting a more inclusive and equitable environment in the organization as a whole,” said Marcela Diniz, Head of Supplies for the Northern Area project and a member of the Female Gender subcommittee in the company.
Having breastfeeding rooms available for women working at the projects is an extremely important differential, as these days, more and more women are working in the construction industry. Marcela added that, “Especially in a work environment that can be physically demanding, providing a safe and clean breastfeeding room enables new mothers to have a suitable place to express milk and attend to their maternal needs. The right kind of private environment will help allay the concerns of breastfeeding mothers about being able to give their babies the healthy nutrition they need for optimal growth.”
In a sector where attracting and retaining talent tends to be a challenge compared with the competition, these initiatives help with retention, providing well-being and an adequate workplace environment for the different stages of life that people go through. “In this case, by providing breastfeeding facilities, for example, we can attract more women to the sector and help alter the perception that construction is a 'man’s job,'” commented Ana Karen.