Having a baby will hinder your career

A devastating 51% of unsupported returning mums will leave their jobs

These shocking results from an in-depth study run by Lisa Carver of Carver Coaching show the real extent of pressure Mums face retuning back to work along with gender bias & a deepening disparity in the work place.

Founder Lisa Carver states: “This is our modern-day epidemic. The majority of women are not supported in their return to work. Women are scarred by their experiences with many reporting depression ,chronic anxiety, and many leave their careers altogether. This confidential study has seen thousands of women flock to tell their experiences.”

Lisa Carver is an executive coach and has created this survey with the single mission to help employers support their returners. Lisa who runs Carver Coaching is herself returning from her 3rd maternity leave. She believes many Corporates give lip service to supporting returners. Here is a damming sample of returning mum’s survey feedback:

‘I was told the team shouldn’t be punished for my lifestyle choice when I was negotiating my return to work’

‘Before maternity leave I was the crown princess, post maternity leave I was a threat and all of a sudden the opportunities disappeared.’

‘I was told it was “a shame” I was pregnant’

‘Before my mat leave I had been on a fast track leadership course. Since returning, I’ve been asked if I was even interested in having a career. My opinion no longer counts.’

‘the language in emails felt along the lines of being under a disciplinary rather than going on mat leave.’

‘people in top positions think maternity is a ‘break’.

‘he believed women should stay at home and couldn’t be committed to their jobs (he actually said this to me)’

‘My employer choose not to have children and punished me at every opportunity for making a decision she didn’t like. She constantly told me that I had baby brain (my child was 2) and made comments about me not being committed to my job.’ 

The survey ran from Aug 2018 until Aug 2019 and collated hard data from thousands of women wanting to share the heart-breaking stories of their experiences. What quickly became evident from the study is this is not an isolated problem. Women from all industries returning back to work are faced with the same lack of support and discriminatory behaviours.

The crux of the data shows:

  • 89% feel that their career progression was hindered by their maternity leave. Felt that they were overlooked for career progression by their non-parent or male counterparts
  • Shockingly 51% of maternity returners, ended up leaving their jobs because they felt unsupported and mounting pressure out on them.
  • A staggering 91% of women interviewed for the survey used these words to describe their mindset during their return-to-work phase; anxious, isolated, worried, overwhelmed, lost, stressed, dread, guilt, scared, shocked

It’s important that HR professionals and leaders take note and provide the necessary help to retuning mums (and fathers).

Lisa commented: We talk about equality and supporting maternity returners, but the evidence shows that today’s reality isn’t as progressive as we had thought. Drilling down it to what work life is really like for these returning Mums, shows a cavernous divide from where we are, to where we need to be.

“In the face of returning to work, where there is a lack of support, more than half of those returning mums will leave their jobs. This kind of work is imperative to grow awareness and push for progress in implementing solutions to support women is equally so.”

From the research, Lisa has developed a number of tips for returning parents as well as tips for HR and managers of returners, to help prepare and support people when they return back to work. All of these can be accessed for free.

A full list can be found on the website www.carvercoaching.co.uk/research

“Survey’s like this provide invaluable insights for organisations as to how they can best support maternity returners into the workplace. Aside from professional guidelines and procedures it’s important for people who manage maternity returners to have empathy, and research like this helps to create a greater depth of understanding which in turn helps us to support the returner more effectively.” Lizzie Henson, founder of HR Ninjas

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