Lexus Smith was six months pregnant with her second baby when she accepted a job at Fifth Third Bank. At the time she was nervous about how she’d manage it all: A job, a five-year-old, another baby on the way.
“I was struggling with the thought of having two small children,” Smith told Parents. “I’m not going to lie, I was in panic mode—I didn’t know how I was going to juggle everything by myself.”
The situation became even more stressful when Smith’s doctor told her she’d likely deliver well ahead of her March due date. But Fifth Third Bank’s team stepped in to help with its maternity concierge service, a benefit they offer up to all their employees who are expecting or have children under a year old. The program allows women to reach out for help with scheduling appointments, researching childcare and more. The concierge program even planned Smith’s baby shower, which is a common offering for expectant moms enrolled in the program.
“The Maternity Concierge program is part of Fifth Third’s commitment to provide an environment and culture where working mothers can not only succeed, but also excel,” Teresa Tanner, Fifth Third Bank’s chief administrative officer, said, according to an emailed release. “It has been great to see how we can provide support to women during this critical time…We know that being pregnant and having a new baby can be very exciting, and also very stressful. So as a company, we wanted to find a way to celebrate this new life, and to provide support to our new working moms.”
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The program was created in conjunction with Best Upon Request, a service that provides companies with concierge services to benefit employees.
This is a free service that offers an extensive range of options, and the team behind it will continue to check back in with employees who are enrolled in the program after they deliver.
“Even to this day, the Maternity Concierge still reaches out to me to make sure I’m OK, even though I’m not located back home [in Cincinnati] where the corporate headquarters are,” Smith said. “They still email me, not only at my work email, but also at my personal email. They even sent me a welcome kit for my son congratulating me on the birth of him. They’ve just been phenomenal.”
Smith, who moved from an operational role into a position as a teller, confirmed that Fifth Third Bank offers inclusion in the program to all its maternal employees, regardless of position.
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“You usually see this type of opportunity being offered to someone in a much higher position, and when I first learned about it, I was like ‘wow, this is amazing,’” Smith said. “I just thought it was little old me, I come to work and I leave, but they actually value me. I’m not just a number. They actually took the time to say ‘we want to make sure your needs are met so you can perform in your role.’ It’s like a family that you have while you’re at work.”
How amazing would it be if all companies offered this benefit?