Back-to-work mums ‘held back’ as career progress is hindered

Employers are being warned they are wasting talent after research highlighted career progress is being hindered for more than two-thirds of women who return to work after having a child.

Women who return to work after having children feel they are being held back in their careers. Research by banking group Santander has found 67% of working mothers believed having children has hindered their progress at work.

It also revealed many working mothers thought the age at which they had their first child had affected their professional success. And 38% of women who became mothers after the age of 31 said that, in hindsight, they would have had their children earlier in their working life.

The study of more than 2,000 women – 1,801 mothers and 1,581 working mothers – revealed childcare responsibilities were hindering women’s careers.

There is a risk of employers losing their best female talent as 26% of working mothers said they had switched jobs to ones that were less rewarding as a career but which better suited their family life. More than a quarter (26%) had switched entire careers while a further 6% had given up on work altogether as they couldn’t juggle a career and family life.

Elizabeth Gardiner, policy officer at work-life balance organisation Working Families, told HR magazine these figures were “disappointing”.

“Employers should take note of the terrible waste of talent (and investment) this represents and they should actively support employees through this transition to working parent,” she said…


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