Being a parent holds back working women from promotion, study suggests

·1-min read

Two in five working mothers believe being a parent is holding them back from promotion in their job, new research suggests.

A third of mothers said people who worked the longest hours were most respected by senior managers in their organisation, according to a report.

Working Families said its study among 755 parents with young children found that almost half did not believe senior leaders in their organisation were positive role models for achieving a good work-life balance.

Virtually everyone surveyed by the charity said work-life balance was a top priority and would influence their next choice of job.

The charity is promoting innovations to help working parents during its National Work Life Week, which starts on Monday.

Jane van Zyl, chief executive of Working Families, said: “It’s depressing to see that in 2021 so many women still find that being a parent stops them getting promoted at work. Half of people caring for another family member find their caring responsibilities do the same.

“So much talent and so many diverse perspectives are being lost because too many businesses can’t move past outdated workplace cultures.

“While increasingly high numbers of managers and leaders recognise the benefits of family-friendly ways of working, there are still pockets of resistance across sectors.

“But the experience of the pandemic has speeded up a shift in how many of us want to work, and those resisting positive change will find it comes back to bite them – 85% of working parents told us that they would prioritise work-life balance when looking for their next role.”

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