Almost three quarters of women feel that their promotion prospects altered dramatically as soon as they had children and one in three feel they have been overlooked for a promotion because they are of a childbearing age, according to a study by recruitment specialist maternitycover.com.
The survey shows 45% of those who believe they have been overlooked for promotion post-baby think they could prove it. One in two women said they would not necessarily admit to being pregnant if offered a promotion or new job, with 58% of those women insisting that their decision to be ‘upfront’ would depend on the role being offered.
The findings are released in a new report by maternitycover.com, entitled Boardrooms and Babies, which polled over 1,300 UK women through parenting site netmums.
The research draws particular attention to how women feel their career prospects and earning potential deteriorates once they become mothers, as well as their relationships with colleagues and employers. Over two thirds (70%) of women polled felt that going on maternity leaves a woman’s job vulnerable to ambitious colleagues or redundancy, with almost half (48%) of this group admitting that in current economic times people don’t think twice about trampling on colleagues to get on.
Some 68% of women admit to earning less than they did before having a baby, with only 5% experiencing an increased salary. Almost half of women (45%) got into debt due to maternity leave pay, with 23% of these women blaming their firm’s poor maternity package. Over half (54%) were forced to end their maternity leave earlier than expected due to money worries, with 8% returning within three months or less of giving birth.
However, 73% of women surveyed by maternitycover.com maintain that they are better employees as a result of having a baby, with 32% of this group believing motherhood has made them more focused and organised.
Paul Jenkins, CEO of maternitycover.com, says: ‘Women face countless unspoken taboos when it comes to having children and maintaining a career. Our survey, Boardrooms and Babies, makes this all too clear. We wanted to drill down into what women really experience, practically and financially, in the workplace when a baby appears on the scene. Only by lifting the lid in this way can we encourage conversation and improve communication between everyone involved.’