Survey shows career impact of having children

Nearly half of British women don’t return to their previous career once they’ve had children, choosing to either switch jobs to one with hours that will work around their children or stay at home with their kids, according to a new poll.

The poll of over 2,400 mothers who had at least one child under five showed  the average British mother who leaves her career for a more flexible job will take a pay cut of £11,000 a year to do so.

The survey by asked mums ‘Did you return to your previous career after having children?’ to which just two fifths of respondents, 41%, said ‘yes’. Ten per cent said that they didn’t work before having children. Of the 49% who said that they didn’t return to their career after having children, 64% ‘switched jobs for one with more flexible hours’ to work around their children and 25% ‘became a stay-at-home parent’.

All respondents who didn’t return to their career were asked why, with the top reasons cited being ‘the cost of childcare was too expensive’ (45%) and ‘my career didn’t have the flexibility I needed’ (39%).

Respondents who had switched jobs when returning to work were asked what type of job they had gone into that better suited their new lifestyle and family. When provided with a list of possible responses and told that they could also specify their own, the top five jobs were revealed as:

1.      Supermarket role – 18%

2.      Administration – 17%

3.      School (e.g. teaching assistant, dinner lady etc.) – 15%

4.      High street retail – 9%

5.      Cleaning – 7%

 Those who stated that they got a job in a school were asked if it was the same school their children went to, to which 64% said that it was.

When asked what their salary had been prior to having children (if they were employed then), the average was revealed as £32,500. When relevant respondents were asked what their salary was after leaving their career and getting a job that better suited their family lifestyle, the average was revealed as £21,500 – a difference of £11,000 per year.

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