Although motherhood is one of life’s overwhelmingly positive experiences, it can also be physically and emotionally exhausting. From sleep deprivation to financial cost, a toll is exacted on most new mums - in some form or another.
When the time comes to return to work, mums want to meet the challenge with renewed excitement and vigour, but often can’t thrive because the correct working conditions aren’t provided.
Recent research from Candidly found almost half (42%) of mums felt they had experienced discrimination at work after becoming a parent. With 39% citing that they weren’t offered the development opportunities and skills they needed to progress.
In contrast to this, 62% of working mums felt they had more empathy and patience in the workplace after becoming a parent. Those new mums who did feel they were given great working conditions said their performance and job satisfaction increased as a result.
Considering all this, the onus should be on businesses to offer better support to new mums, ensuring both parties are satisfied and ultimately benefiting from the unique outlook brought by parenthood.
Old methods of working quickly become outdated in the workplace, but often the desire to progress and up-skill shown by returning workers isn’t reciprocated with the same positivity from managers. This is a big mistake, especially given how fast change happens in the workplace.
When it comes to those returning to work, training should be viewed as much more than just a luxury. With two out of three mums saying they wanted more development and training following their maternity leave. All indicators point to more provisions being required to suit these needs.
Flexible forms of online learning, VR and other digital training must be available to ensure mums feel valued and able to progress beyond their current position.
Combatting Workplace Discrimination
60% of mums believe they have more patience and empathy in the workplace after becoming a parent, while many feel their performance and satisfaction at work can increase – but only when given the right conditions.
Any improvement in productivity and outlook is significant to business because it increases workforce morale and allows goals to be achieved ahead of schedule.
When helping new mums return to work, the first step for many companies will be to show a willingness to discuss flexible working. While this is a great start, help is also possible through benefits packages, subsidies on childcare, and healthcare provisions - alleviating more potential care or financial issues.
Motherhood can allow new mums to add more perceived value to their work, revolutionising their approach and increasing productivity.
However, mental health issues arising from parenthood and workplace discrimination continue to be a threat in damaging their relationship with the workplace.
As a result, flexible working hours, proper continuous professional development opportunities, and other programs can empower mums to feel adequately supported as they traverse the most significant months and years of their lives.