Career Limits for Working Mums

By March 3, 2016HR Research
Parental Leave | HR Solutions

Over half of working mums (56%) believe that they would have gotten further in their careers if they did not have children.

The research, carried out by Watchshop.com, also found that a third of working mothers (33%) feel guilty if they have to take leave from work due to parental responsibilities.

Despite the introduction of Shared Parental Leave last April a study has shown that it is still primarily mothers who take leave from work. Joint research by My Family Care and Hogan Lovells found that just 2% of UK companies have seen a ‘significant’ uptake in Shared Parental Leave since the law came into effect.

Both studies identified that taking any extended period of parental leave would be career limiting. Yet for women it is much worse. Research by the Equality and Human Rights Commission estimated that as many as 54,000 women lose their jobs every year due to pregnancy.

Joeli Brearley found herself in these circumstances when working as a self-employed project manager. When she told her main client that she was four months pregnant she was quickly dismissed. This experience led her to create Pregnant Then Screwed, a website that allows women to post their experiences of pregnancy and parenthood-related discrimination.

Brearley told The Independent: “In a work environment maternity leave is normal, paternity leave longer than two weeks is not. Therefore women tend to bear the brunt of childcare responsibilities, even when there are two working parents in the family.”

“They are more likely to seek part-time or flexible work and as a result are often overlooked for promotion or added responsibilities. If the company is not willing to offer flexible working, then they need a valid business reason.”

Popular parenting site Mumsnet.co.uk that found that 49% of working mothers thought that employers discriminated against them. Just 12% thought the opposite.

Despite the laws in place to protect working mothers against discrimination, unscrupulous employers are still finding ways to remove them from their payroll.

There’s a cheery Mother’s Day thought for you.


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