Workingmums Survey: Full results 2022

Here are the full results from our survey 2022.

2264 people responded to our 2022 Annual survey. Here we profile who our respondents are, and what their work and living situation is like.

Who responded?

97% of respondents are female, with ethnicity closely matching the UK’s general ethnicity profile.

51.24% are between the ages of 36 and 45. 25.43% are 35 or under and 23.43% are 46 and over.

38% are located in the South East and London, 17.31% in the North and Yorkshire, 15.2% in the Midlands, 13.58% in the South West and Wales, 7.96% in the East of England, 5.76% in Scotland and 1.53% in Northern Ireland. 

68.15% are married or in a civil partnership, 14.81% are in a domestic partnership and 17.04% are single.

11.31% have a disability and 9.8% are neurodivergent.

63.16% have two children or more. 13.01% have a child with special needs.

Work profile

With regards career profile 14.15% are entry level, 45.6% are experienced non-managers, 30.57% are managers or supervisors of staff, 8.30% are executives or heads of departments and 1.38% are C-suite (MD, CEO etc)

The respondents are largely experienced in terms of work: 76.24% have more than 10 years experience, whilst 58.29% have more than 15 years experience.

64.64% are currently employed, 8.21% self employed. 5.46% are both employed and self employed. 21.7% are not working.

42.64% work for an SME (under 250 employees). 22.44% work for an organisation with more than 5,000 employees and the rest fall in between.

The majority (54.99%) work full time. Whether full time or part time, 35.93% work remotely some of the time and 14.63% work remotely all of the time. 30.8% work set hours at a place of work.

Diversity & Inclusion

We asked our respondents on their perspective regarding their employers commitment to Diversity & Inclusion, and if they thought their employer had become more committed to diversity and inclusion due to the events of the last two years. Most answered that their employer was more committed.

Pie chart showing employers commitment to diversity & inclusion

42% have seen specific evidence of action on D&I within their workplace and these included D&I events, new staff working on D&I and more diversity training amongst other initiatives. 25.8% think that the actions taking place are making a difference to diversity and inclusion in their workplace, 18.92% don’t think they are making a difference and 55% are not sure.

15.07% have seen a backlash against the D&I agendas in their workplace, for instance sarcastic or negative comments.

Employee engagement & benefits

When asked what would encourage them to stay with their current employers, more pay came out on top, followed by more flexible working, more benefits such as medical help and more rights such as sick pay.

Bar chart showing what would make people stay with their current employer

50.63% of those employed work at an organisation which provides enhanced maternity/paternity pay or enhanced equal parenting pay. 43.96% told us that this enhanced pay, if they were to have another child, would encourage them to take longer leave with their new baby.

61.16% said it would also make them more likely to return to their place of work after having a baby and being  off on maternity/parental leave.

We asked what policies their employers offered. Paid holiday above the statutory minimum came out top, followed by carers leave and menopause policies. Over 25% said their employer offered none of these.

Bar chart of policies at employers survey 2022

47.63% think their employer provides good support for their mental health, and 73.07% say that providing support for your mental health would make it more likely they would stay with their current employer.

Becoming self-employed

Only 18.23% of the respondents are considering becoming self-employed or freelancing. For the 58.46% who said no, they would not consider it, overwhelmingly this was due to worries about earnings and security (69.88%). 41.02% said it was due to a lack of business idea, 43.82% because of lack of confidence, and 27.25% due to childcare support worries.

For those that answered yes, 72.5% are just thinking about it. 17.82% have started planning, 6.60% have a business plan and 3.08% have funding and are ready to launch.

42.7% said that the experience of the last two years would make it less likely for them to go self employed.


Only 26.73% have retrained in the last three years. 26.55% are planning to retrain in the next year.

Career progression & development

67.83% said their career has stalled as a result of having children. 55.39% are considering looking for a new job in the next 12 month. 38.06% are looking to change sector in the near future.

34.64% would like to work less in the future, 28.45% would like to work more. 1.92% would like to give up work, and 34.99% are happy with their current working pattern.

After the last two years of uncertainty, 38.95% are more likely to seek promotion. 31.08% are less likely to seek promotion and 29.97% are not sure.

41.67% say the Covid pandemic has made them change their career plans.

Mental Health & Family

53.85% say their mental health has deteriorated in the last two years. 18.68% say their child has experienced mental health issues, and 6.67% say that their child has had to deal another family member’s mental health issues. 6.84% say that their child has had to deal with their own and a family members mental health issues.

For those who say they have suffered mental  health issues, 15.39% say that is due to financial worries and 31.07% say it is partly due to financial worries. 44.08% say that the experiences of the covid pandemic have affected their mental health long term.

Financial situation

48.99% of respondents have debt (excluding a mortgage). 45.83% have more than £5,000 debt.

Bar chart showing debt amounts

We asked our respondents what they have been cutting back on. 76.31% have been cutting back on takeaways and eating out, 67.90% on holidays/outings, 64.32% on clothes, 61.63% on food brands (in favour of supermarket own brand) and 15.33% on basic food supplies.

7.38% have had to use a food bank in the last 12 months.

50.76% say the cost of living crisis is having an impact on their childcare decisions and 71.13% say that the rising cost of living is having an impact on decisions about work, such as staying in a job or the ability to increase or reduce their hours. 38.65% say financial issues are causing tension in their relationship.

58.05% are looking to move job, increase hours or take on another job to get more pay.

18.75% say that statutory maternity pay/allowance is affecting their decision to have more children.


35.8% use grandparents or other relatives for childcare, 25.42% use holiday or after school clubs. 33.69% are using nurseries, pre-school or childminders and 2.19% are using special needs childcare.

25.23% spend over £100 per week on childcare.

23.83% say their childcare costs have risen significantly over the last few months and 48.98% say that childcare availability is affecting the hours you can work/whether you can work. Only 22.78% say that childcare availability is affecting the hours their partner can work.

13.5% say their childcare is still not back to normal since the covid pandemic. For those with a special needs child, 71.49% say their childcare is not back to normal since the onset of the covid pandemic.

Sharing responsibility

57.08% say that they are still doing more childcare than their partner. 73.86% said this has not changed since the start of the pandemic, whereas 14.81% say they now do more of the childcare than before the  pandemic, and 11.33% say they do less of the childcare since the pandemic.

Flexible working

36.57% say that their partner is now working more flexibly since the start of the Covid pandemic.

75.52% say that they would feel more confident asking for flexible working since the Covid pandemic. 86.03% would investigate an employers flexible working policy before applying for a new job.

77.27% would ask about flexible working at interview and 73.61% say that flexible working is a deal breaker for them when applying for a new job. 40.16% have turned down a new job due to lack of flexibility.

24.56% have had flexible working taken from them at some point, of these 41.85% said that they left their job as a result.

With regards how important various policies were to our respondents when they were seeking a new position, there was a fairly even split.

What policies are important pie chart

We asked what the barriers are (or were) to returning to work as a parent. Working hours /working pattern was seen as the biggest barrier (78.54%), followed by childcare (66.99%). 45.69% said employers lack of empathy for working parents was a barrier, and 41.79% said location. 39.51% found confidence a barrier, and 28.78% said having up to date/relevant skills. 13.41% found the application process a barrier.

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