Workplaces are driving away mums and mums-to-be, says survey

Whether you’re yet to have your first child or are already a mum, how you reconcile motherhood with work is becoming increasingly a question with an unsatisfactory outcome.  Mounting childcare costs, flexible hours, discrimination and even the threat of being forced out of work are all issues mums and mums-to-be face, and often have to compromise on. In the wake of this growing anxiety, a new survey has been carried out to see how women feel about making both motherhood and their careers work.

The result?

Depressingly, the research, led by YouGov, has revealed British workplaces are in fact DRIVING away women who have children, or want to have them in the future.

    • At 58%, over half of the non-retired women who were planning starting a family felt they would alter their career in order to have a child.
    • Out of the women likely to alter their career, the top reason was needing to have more flexible working conditions (74%).
    • Other explanations included having to work fewer hours (58%) and preferring a shorter commute (31%).

The phenomenon of ‘baby shame’ also accounts for a lot of women’s anxiety, especially when it comes leaving early or revealing their baby plans.

    • In spite of their needs at home, and arrangements made with work, over one in four (26%) mothers said they feel self-conscious when they have to leave early or work from home due to childcare arrangements.
    • As for the women planning on starting a family, a worrying 18% also admitted they have hidden their family plans from their employers.

The survey of over 1,000 women was commissioned by the Back2Businessship initiative – a programme run by PR firm Golin, media agency Starcom Mediavest Group and recruitment experts f1 – which provides parents with the confidence to return to the workplace.   Liz Nottingham from Starcom Mediavest Group, one of the founders of Back2Businessship, said that the research highlights the need for skills-based training to help mothers return to work. She commented: “This research highlights once

again that UK workplaces still need to work harder to meet the needs of women who want to have a child.   “It is time to abolish a working world where women are forced to change career plans in exchange for family, or hide their family plans for fear of harming their career prospects. “Businesses must rethink the way they help females shape their careers.’’ Story first appeared on the Daily Mirror website –