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.
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.
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.