September 25, 2023
A new poll suggests that while 98 percent of women want to return to work after maternity leave, only 13 percent say it’s actually viable for them. The survey of 848 mothers commissioned by Careers After Babies looked at what happened to their careers after having children. The survey looked into four areas – maternity leave, returning to work, career progression and what women actually want.
More than half of the women said that they would choose to return to work four days or more given the option. Also, despite 98 percent of mum’s wanting to go back to work after having children, only 13 percent think it’s viable on a full-time basis and of the 24 percent that tried to go back full time, 79 percent ended up leaving because they couldn’t maintain their full-time job alongside having a baby.
The firm also claims that many businesses are doing the bare minimum when it comes to maternity leave. The legal requirement is for women to be able to return to the same job when they take less than six months maternity leave or to a similar job if they take more than six months.
According to the survey, 71 percent of women in senior positions took less than six months off in order to try and keep their jobs, 15 percent of women returned to different jobs in the same company but 57 percent ended up leaving their organisation within two years.
Career progression was also found to be impacted disproportionately by maternity leave, as there was a 32 percent reduction in managerial roles after women have children and a 44 percent increase in admin roles, with many women stating that it’s easier to find flexible work at a junior level, which the authors suggest is likely to be a major contributor to the 14.9 percent gender pay gap.