SRP celebrates mothers this Mother’s Day

SRP offers inclusive employee benefits to support mothers at every step of their parenting journey.

This time of year is known for its rising temps, but also as a time of observances, including Mother’s Day (May 12), Older Americans Month (May) and Father’s Day (June 16). To celebrate, we are sharing a three-part series that highlights how some of SRP’s hardworking parents and caregivers balance family with their roles at SRP. Stay tuned to SRP Connect for the next two installments, coming between now and June.

Cynthia Oder, Melissa Pardo, Audria Newbold and Jami G. all work for Salt River Project (SRP). They have something else in common, too.

They’re all moms.

SRP employees like Cynthia, Melissa, Audria and Jami are dedicated to delivering water and power to their communities. They are also deeply dedicated to their families, and that can mean busy days, followed by even busier nights and weekends.

Empowering working mothers

As a company, SRP understands that to be able to dedicate time and energy to serving more than 2 million people in the Valley each day, employees must also be able to provide dedicated care to loved ones. That’s why SRP offers benefits such as parental leave, mothers rooms and medical coverage for all dependents.

Image shows a family
Jose Rodriguez, their daughter, Mayah, and Melissa Pardo. Photo Credit Melissa Pardo

First-time mom and Customer Service Lead Melissa Pardo was able to take 12 weeks of maternity leave, combining SRP’s parental leave and FMLA.

“The first three months are the hardest, I think,” she said. “You are just learning everything, and those first three months, spending every day with your newborn, pumping, eating, setting sleeping schedules, were so helpful to me.”

Benefits supporting all the stages of motherhood

Medical benefits, too, are incredibly important when a child is born with special needs or a medical condition.

“My daughter was born with both tongue and lip tie,” said Cynthia Oder, mother of two and an SRP Distribution Improvements Engineer. “Benefits allowed me to see a lactation consultant within days of her birth who recommended me to a specialist, who was able to immediately correct the issue.”

Image shows a mother and daughter
Cynthia Oder and Family. Photo Credit Kara Barratt Photography

Cynthia continued, “These treatments made it possible for me to nurse my daughter, with a goal of doing so for one year. With my manager’s full support, I made use of the free pump that came with my medical coverage, plus the mothers rooms at the four buildings I visited regularly, and I took breaks to pump. With those elements in place, I was able to nurse until nearly age 3, which was really powerful to me.”

The mothers rooms at SRP have a sink, a couch for mothers to sit on while they pump and a fridge to store milk.

“As a first-time mom, there was separation anxiety and other stressors, but being able to pump made me feel supported, even while I was at work,” Melissa said.

Apart from new-parent support, SRP offers a dependent care flexible spending account (FSA) to help offset the financial costs of parenthood and offers family events such as an annual Easter egg hunt and Halloween festival.

Image shows a family
Audria Newbold and Family. Photo Credit Ashley Wilfong Photography

Senior Administrative Assistant Audria Newbold, mom of a 6-month-old and a 4-year-old, said, “The FSA allows us to contribute tax-free and then be reimbursed for medical and dental expenses.” 

Support that goes beyond traditional family structures. 

Jami G., a mother of two through adoption, as well as a Water Delivery Services team member, explained, “I had great managers who helped and supported me through the adoption of my children. There are also adoption benefits at SRP, and I received $6,000 in support funds when I adopted my second child, who had special needs at birth. The spirit of family is so prevalent here.”

The feeling that SRP is family-friendly is something the others have felt, too.

“The fact that there are generations of families who work here speaks volumes,” Audria said. “It’s truly a family-oriented company.”

As a mother, there are options at SRP,” says Melissa. “Some moms want to come back right away, others want to take more time. The culture at SRP is supportive that way, it helps moms feel like they’re able to balance career and motherhood in a flexible way.”

Supporting future generations is important to these moms — and to SRP.

“One of the reasons I come to work as an engineer every day is to show my children that they can do whatever they want with their careers, no matter their gender. They can do anything,” Cynthia said.

Jami G. agreed: “I would love for my kids — they’re 4 and 8 now — to get jobs here someday. SRP is a company that takes care of its people.”

For more than 100 years, SRP has served Arizona by providing the critical services of water and power. Today SRP builds upon that mission by ensuring Arizonans who work for our company have access to critical benefits such as maternal and paternal leave, aging parent assistance, adoption support and more.

If you are interested in joining SRP, please join our Talent Pool at careers.srpnet.com.

Melissa Forbes

Melissa Forbes

Melissa is a communications consultant on SRP's Community, Communications and Marketing team. An Arizona transplant who moved here with her husband, Melissa lives in a historic home and adores all things Phoenix. She's a lover of dogs and travel (especially when combined) and can be most often found hiking an Arizona trail with her rescue cattle dog mix.

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