8 In 10 British women prioritise motherhood ahead of a career

Survey of 2,000 British females reveals nation’s perception on this age-long debate

Despite experts warning in recent years that a growing number of women are delaying motherhood as they prioritise their careers, the results of a new survey of 2,000 British women, conducted by Play Like Mum, the team behind the brand new range of Silver Cross dolls prams, look to contest this.

The survey has revealed that a significant 79% of British females believe that having children should come before a career and whilst there’s no argument that some women are choosing to wait until later in life to raise a family, with the most common reason for this being a stronger financial position, 8 in 10 feel that motherhood is more important.

The average age of British first-time mothers is 28.6, according to the latest statistics revealed by the Office for National Statistics at the end of 2016, and whilst motherhood and a career aren’t mutually exclusive, it is clear that the priority lies in raising a family.

Younger Women More Likely To Prioritise A Career

When breaking down the results by age group, those at the younger end of the spectrum, those aged between 18 and 24 are the most likely to prioritise having a career over raising a family, with 35% doing so, typically as a result of growing up at a time of rising house prices and zero-hour contracts often result in financial instability.

Millennials, however, as a whole still place a greater priority on motherhood, despite somewhat difficult times financially.

The 45 to 54 age group, those born between 1963 and 1972, were those least likely to have prioritised a career over motherhood, on the other hand, with only 13% having done so.

The Majority Of Women Want Both A Career And A Family

What must be understood, however, is that the majority of women want a family and a career, with 59% aspiring to have both and the younger demographic really shine here, with 79% of 18 to 24’s highlighting this.

Spokesperson for Play Like Mum, Verena Hallam, commented on the results, stating, “In an age where so many businesses are working hard to reduce gender inequality in the workplace, something which is fantastic to see, it is clear that nothing can replace the feeling of motherhood and the desire for women to raise a family of their own.

“The responsibility, therefore, lies with employers to acknowledge this and find ways to work this into the career paths of their employees.”

Recruitment specialist, Mandy Blackwell, commented further on the results on the survey and specifically upon what this means for employers, stating, “As a female recruiter who started their own business to enable them to combine having children with working, I have noticed that employers are increasingly having to offer flexible working hours and longer maternity periods else they risk losing great female employees.

“Long gone are the times when women had to start work at a certain time and leave at 6pm as employers now have to allow for nursery drop off, pick up and after school clubs. Female candidates often ask for flexibility for holidays and early finishes and I am pleased to say this most often gets agreed.” 

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