Now that the documentary has been edited and is ready to be published. I thought I would reflect on what I’ve found out and what I’ve learned since starting the project in October.
At first, I did not know that the motherhood penalty actually existed but looking at the vast amount of responses I am getting on social media tells me otherwise. I started the documentary after talking to a friend about the career and children situation and my response was that I was going to wait until I was high up in my career but then I might have second thoughts about having a child at that particular time as well. My friend said she wasn’t planning to have children at all. It then occurred to me that I shouldn’t be having to schedule a baby around my career and figure out the best time to have a child because there is never a best time.
As my documentary progressed, some amazing conferences and meetings have been happening that are discussing the issue of discrimination. The Women and Equalities Committee and the Equality and Human Rights Commission have started running campaigns and conventions to end discrimination against mothers in the workplace.
Looking at the statistics from organisations like EHRC and going through my own survey results, they have a clear correlation that women are not fighting against discrimination and believe that having children will be detrimental to their career.
I’m hoping that my documentary will inform other women of their rights especially after they become a mother and show women that they are not alone.
Women suffer motherhood penalty. Play pivotal role caring for free so not building up provision to support later life, rely on men & state
And the results are in from the motherhood paradox survey that I released roughly two weeks ago.
Thanks to everyone who took part in the survey and shared it with friends and colleagues on social media. Some of the big statistics that stood out are as followed:
66% said that having children will affect their career.
42% said that when they have a child that they will be less committed to their job.
85% would consider flexible working when they have children
These statistics reinforce why I decided to create the project in the first place because they show how people really feel about pursuing a career and having children. Flexible working and shared parental leave are the popular vote in this survey and could be the future for working parents.
However, Trades Union Congress (TUC) says that two in five fathers in work will not be eligible for shared parental leave, mainly because their partner is not in paid work. Parents must make sure that they are eligible for Shared Parental Leave
SPL must be taken between the baby’s birth and first birthday or within one year of adoption.
If you are thinking of choosing Shared Parental Leave, click hereto check to see if you’re eligible and for more information on how to apply.
When I was getting all my interviews I felt as if my documentary was missing something. All my interviews up until this point were all from the working mother’s perspective. I decided I would get in touch with a stay-at-home dad to see the reversed roles of the stereotypical breadwinner and homemaker.
I recently talked to John Adams who is a stay-at-home dad based in London. He gave up his career in communications so that his wife could flourish in hers. John has recently won the UK Dad Blog of the year where he writes about his life as a stay-at-home dad.
When I asked my previous interviewees about how we should solve the mother pay gap, John had a different view on the matter. Listen to John here:
The christmas period is now officially over so now it is back to editing the radio documentary into a 7 minute final piece.
After getting feedback from my tutor about my rough cut, I have decided to switch parts of the narrative around so that the piece flows better. I have come to the realisation that I have too many voices so the hardest part of the project so far is deciding which voices to leave out of the final piece for submission.
Whilst editing I created a survey to develop my own research on the issue. You can be involved in the survey below.
Maternity Action and several organisations have joined together to put an end to pregnancy discrimination in the workplace in a campaign that is using the twitter handle #MaternityRights.
The alliance have formed an action plan and are calling on the Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Corporate Responsibility, Margot James, to take action to end discrimination against pregnant mothers.
The campaign was produced after the Equality and Human Rights Commission released a report which showed a massive increased in maternity and pregnancy discrimination in the workplace. It showed that 77% of pregnant women and new mothers experience some form of discrimination at work compared to 2005 where it was only 45%.
ECHR also found out that each year 54,000 women lose their jobs as a result of pregnancy discrimination.
The Alliance for Maternity Rights consists of Maternity Action, Family and Childcare Trust, NCT, Prospect, The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, The Royal College of Midwives, TUC, UNISON, Unite the Union, Working Families and YESS Law.
Amy Shaw is not only pregnant but she is an employment lawyer at DC Solicitors in Hampshire. She gets weekly enquiries into pregnancy and maternity discrimination claims and what the process is. Amy lives by a few steps in which she goes through before letting her claimant take in to the tribunal.
Here’s some advice for women who are thinking of making a discrimination claim for Amy Shaw.
I talked to Jessica Chivers, the author of Mothers Work!, about the motherhood penalty and how she helps women return back to work. She believes that flexible working is the way forward, not just mothers but for people in general. She believes if we extend the time limit on Shared Parental Leave and let women work from home at least one day a week this could change the playing field. Here’s a segment of my interview with her.
I decided to create my own specialised survey to find out what women really think about the future of working mothers. The questions are designed to provide me with clear data correlation on whether a career or children come first. I have also added questions on the motherhood penalty to see how many people know what the term actually means.
If you would like to be involved in the survey click here.