A Government-commissioned project in 2018* looking at family-friendly policies and women's progression in the workplace found that fewer than 1 in 5 of all new mothers returned to work in the 3 years after maternity leave.
Furthermore, Professor Harkness from Bristol University, who worked on the project, said: "Worryingly, it appears that women who return to employment typically see their chance of moving up the occupational ladder decrease. Women who return to the same employer risk becoming stuck in their job roles with limited career progression."
*And this was pre-pandemic, so I dread to think what the stats look like now.
Conversations MUST be had about why women's career prospects so often drop off a cliff after having children.
Employers are too quick to write women off as unreliable when they become mothers, when all women need to flourish in the workplace is an understanding of the shifting dynamics that motherhood brings and open discussions about how the new challenges can be navigated whilst keeping all parties happy.
I don't have any answers, but I will keep exploring this topic because it is important. And because I don't want my daughter's career prospects to suffer if she decides to become a mother.
I'd love to know what you think? Drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org