Mothers are receiving mixed messages in the workplace. We’re being called a valuable asset.
Almost 85% of U.S. employees believe having working mothers in leadership roles benefits a business, according to a Bright Horizons study. The same percentage said motherhood helps women prepare for challenges she’ll face as a business leader. When asked about the role parents’ influence plays in their career choices and employment journey, people are overwhelmingly more likely to learn soft skills like kindness and empathy from their mothers than their fathers.
Yet…. mothers struggle with networking.
Nearly half of stay at home moms plan to network with other professionals to find new jobs, but unfortunately 1/3 of them don’t have contacts.
Mothers also worry about being penalized in the workplace.
42% of women worry motherhood will negatively impact their career trajectory or leave them unable to advance as quickly as peers. More than 70% of working mothers and fathers say women are penalized professionally for starting families, and men aren’t. Almost three-quarters of moms — and more than 70% of women without children — say mothers are offered fewer opportunities to move up the ladder than childless women. 82% of working moms cite barriers keeping them from leadership roles, and 78% say they have to prove themselves more in the workplace.
And they are perceived to be less devoted to their careers.
Women are more likely to work their careers around children and make changes like taking leave, finding a more flexible job or working from home, a study last year found. More than 40% of U.S. employees say working moms are less devoted to their work, and 38% judge moms for seeking more flexible schedules. As it affects their hiring and promotion, motherhood costs women $16,000 per year in lost wages, one recent analysis found. Mothers are paid 71 cents for every dollar a man makes, per CNBC.