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Mother’s Day declared a corporate holiday by Kendra Scott—but is it just ‘a great marketing ploy’?

April 19, 2022, 2:32 PM UTC

Kendra Scott has declared Mother’s Day a paid holiday for all employees at her fashion accessories brand, citing the added pressures stemming from the pandemic.

Scott, who founded her namesake company 20 years ago when her son was only 3 months old, said she wanted to support women struggling to balance the demands of work and family life as schools restricted attendance or shut entirely for public health reasons.

In a statement on Monday, Scott’s company cited reports suggesting that 40% of mothers have added over three hours of daily caregiving to their schedules.

This disproportionately impacts its own workforce, which are almost exclusively women. 

Kendra Scott speaks on a microphone
Designer and philanthropist Kendra Scott.
Rick Kern—Getty Images

“As a working mother, I know how important it is to take the time to celebrate my children, my mother, and myself,” Scott wrote on her Instagram channel, followed by over 1.1 million accounts.

The pandemic has put such a strain on employees across all sectors of the U.S. economy that many have quit their jobs in the Great Resignation

A more progressive holiday policy can help serve as a differentiator when recruiting talent, and some companies—notably Netflix and LinkedIn—have unlimited vacation days by benchmarking performance against milestones rather than hours worked.

Scott’s company said retail employees working on the Sunday will now receive time-and-a-half holiday pay on May 8, while the brand’s home office and distribution center will remain closed on the following Monday in observance.

“Recognition of Mother’s Day as a corporate holiday is long overdue,” wrote Kendra Scott CEO Tom Nolan on LinkedIn. “I challenge other businesses to join our pledge.” 

The response on social media was largely positive, with over 6,100 likes to Scott’s post thus far, but there were some sporadic voices of dissent.

In a reply to Nolan’s praise of his founder’s decision, for example, one professional suspected the motives of the company were less altruistic. 

“This is a merchant holiday, period. I know you want to sell jewelry, and this is a great marketing ploy,” wrote Judi Butterworth, a senior vice president at Orion Investment Real Estate, based in Scottsdale, Ariz.

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