And our survey says…

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.



SPL: Sharing is caring

In a couple of my interviews, Shared Parental Leave was one of the hot topics that was discussed.

Shared Parental Leave (SPL) is a fairly new right that gives mothers, fathers, partners and adopters a chance to share time off work after a child is born.

It is compulsory for mothers to take two weeks off after birth of a child and from there they can cut their maternity leave short or exchange for shared parental leave with their partner.

Shared Parental Leave gives parents the flexibility to share out up to 50 weeks of leave and even lets parents take leave in blocks instead of all in one go.

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 here to check to see if you’re eligible and for more information on how to apply.

And for more guidance go to the Acas website.

Maternity Action: Time to put an end to pregnancy discrimination in the workplace

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.

You can view the action plan here.

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.

Maternity Action logo

The Motherhood Paradox Survey

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.


The Motherhood Penalty: facts and figures

At the moment, I am in the middle of editing the documentary and I’m adding all the my interviews that I have so far into a rough cut.

Here are some interesting statistics that I found in reports from the Equality and Human Rights Commission and AAT. 

I decided to create a little infographic with all the important facts and figures relating to the motherhood penalty.


British mothers say having children significantly impacted on their careers, study shows

The UK’s leading qualification and membership body for vocational accountants, AAT, released a new survey that examined the attitudes towards women in the modern workplace. The survey found that over half of British mothers feel they have been held back at work after having children.


The survey involving 2,000 UK mothers, also found that 52% of women who are yet to have children fear that doing so in the future may impact their career.

The survey reported that one in five mothers claimed to have been passed over for promotion and one in ten have been denied a pay rise after giving birth.

One in eight women said they had been told that having kids would be detrimental to their career opportunities, and 12% are putting off having children for the time being as a result.

The AAT have done some extensive research into the issue and have produced a white paper on what employers and employees can do about it. You can find the document here.



#WorkingForward campaign

The Equality and Human Rights Commission have launched the new campaign, Working Forward, that will make sure that the workplace is the best they can be for pregnant women and new mothers.

The drive is led by British businesses that are trying to point the industry in the right direction regarding pregnancy and maternity rights.

Reports showed that 84% of business said they supported pregnant women and those on maternity leave, which compares to the 77% of mothers who told the Equality and Human Rights Commission that they had a negative or discriminatory experience at work.

The Royal Mail, Barclays, BT and HSBC have supported the campaign to make the best workplace for pregnant women and new mothers. You can see the progress on the EHRC website or follow #WorkingForward hashtag on Twitter.

What is the motherhood penalty?

Now for the BIG question, what is the motherhood penalty?

Wayne Jones


Sociologists have come up with the term ‘The Motherhood Penalty’ to explain how women encounter discrimination in the workplace in terms of wages, employment, and job promotion.

According to the Fawcett Society, from now until christmas women technically working for free due to the gender pay gap. Women may suffer a per child pay penalty depending on how many children they decide to have.