In an age where equality is key to just about everything, it still comes as a shock when major surveys, such as the one carried out by workingmums.co.uk and care.com, reveal that many of the gender roles that were thought to have left the workplace are actually still there.
Their survey which consisted of over 2,500 women turned up some surprising results. Most notably in the difference maternity leave had on them. Many of the women, 56% in fact, commented on how their wages had gone down since having their children. However, for men, it has been in found in other surveys that their income can actually increase when they return to work. In addition to these numbers, there is also the fact that under a quarter of dads work flexible hours, not to mention the low statistic of only 4% of fathers choosing to work part time, even though flexible work legislation is now equal for men and women.
The traditional idea that men should be the main breadwinner still appears to be a defining factor for many dads out there if these statistics are anything to go by.
Workingmums.co.uk also found that over 70% of the women who had taken part in the survey, had claimed that flexible working hours was key to their job progression. In fact, flexi hours was the most important aspect of what a family-friendly company would consist of. Furthermore, the women that aren’t currently in work commented that not having access to jobs with flexi hours is the biggest barrier for them when returning to work, followed closely by the ever growing cost of childcare. Since 2011, there has been a 10% increase in the amount of parents who seek help from family members, such as grandparents, when it comes to caring for their children while they’re at work.
What came as the biggest shock, however, was the fact that many of the high percentage of pro-flexi hours working mums (44% to be exact) had actually never addressed this issue with their employers. Furthermore, the mothers that had opted for part time work instead of the more desired flexi hours, on average, work over their contracted hours, sometimes working up to 12 hours extra every week.
The workingmums.co.uk annual survey has provided an in-depth look into how working mums approach their careers, and the most significant factors that either, keep them from work or hinder their work progression. Furthermore, it’s helped highlight the sad but obvious fact that, despite all the movement we’ve made towards equality in the workplace, there is still a long way to go.
For full details of the survey, please visit the annual survey results page.