Motherhood has negative effect on career, says a third of Sussex women

Three times as many women as men believe having a child has had a negative effect on their career, a new survey into attitudes to women in the workplace has shown.

Saturday, 22nd October 2016, 1:42 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 2:55 am
Having a child has a negative effect on career, mothers believe
Having a child has a negative effect on career, mothers believe

Both men and women feel held back after children, according to the study, which found that one in eight parents claimed they had been passed over for promotion and a similar number had been denied a pay rise after giving birth.

Olivia Hill, chief HR officer at the Association of Accounting Technicians, who commissioned the study, said: “The results of our survey are a sad indictment on our workplaces and the experiences of mothers and fathers.

“Across the UK, a third of women believe that having a child has had a negative effect on their career, a figure which is three times as many as men, and shows just one area where women have a harder time at work than their male colleagues.

“After having children, men and women can experience the working world differently.

“Despite solutions such as shared parental leave coming in, the onus is still that women will generally pick up on childcare arrangements, and ultimately it is more likely to be their career which will be affected.

“Organisations can still do more to redress the balance if the gender gap is to truly become a thing of the past.”

Findings from across the country uncovered one respondent who was told in an interview shortly after her marriage that she was not worth employing as it was only a matter of time before she would leave to have children.

Another woman, who was single, was accused of sizing up the company’s clients for marriage, the study found, while a 21-year-old woman was told outright that if she had children, further advancement within the company would not be possible.

Of the 215 people in the South East who were interviewed among 2,000 nationally, 40 per cent of those who were not yet parents said they feared that having children in the future would have an impact on their careers.

Of these adults, five per sent said they had been told having children would be detrimental to their career opportunities and, as a result, 11 per cent said they were putting off having children for the time being.

Other findings from the study included that over a fifth of parents in the South East also say their boss isn’t supportive when they need to take time off due to childcare.

In the region, 18 per cent of adults have been paid less than their opposite gender for doing the same job.

One in 16 people in the region believe that women and men should not be paid an equal amount for the same work, while 23 per cent of South East respondents who thought that the gender pay gap should be bigger for mothers.

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