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workingmums.co.uk’s annual survey shows the extent to which women change profession, retrain and stall their careers after having children.
Nearly a third of women have changed profession after having children and nearly half are thinking of doing so, according to workingmums.co.uk’s annual survey.
The survey of 1,600 parents – the vast majority of them mums – ran from just before lockdown until just after it started. It found 29% have changed profession after having children and 47% are thinking about doing so.
Over a quarter [26%] have retrained in the last five years. The main reason was to get greater flexibility.
The figures show half have considered starting their own business as a way of having more control over when and where they work, but only 9% actually have.
Another indicator of the huge impact of having children on women’s careers is show in the figures on career progression. 77% says they have not progressed in their career since having children, with most staying at the same level. However, 25% have taken a step back. Just 21% have progressed.
The figures show that their partners’ career progression has also been affected, although to a lesser extent: 43% of partners have not progressed versus 45% who have.
Some 63% say their earnings have decreased since becoming parents. Yet women are ambitious to move forward in their careers, with over half [53%] saying they want to be senior leaders.
One of the key issues for women is lack of flexible senior roles. workingmums.co.uk held a roundtable on this in February and will publish its white paper shortly.
The vast majority of women [96%] said they believed the pressures on them both at home and at work were too great, with workload, lack of childcare options and lack of flexibility the major problems.
It remains to be seen how the COVID-19 pandemic will impact the future of working against an uncertain economic outlook, but a separate survey on the pandemic gives an indication of some of the pressure points for women.