More women considering childlessness for fear of risking their career

A new survey conducted in the UK sheds light into women’s perceptions and experience of the impact of motherhood on their career. The survey of 2,000 British women was conducted by the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT). Half of the women had children while half were childless.

Results showed that over half of the women (67%) were concerned about the impact that having children might have on their career. Half of the women surveyed said that their current position doesn’t offer the amount of flexibility needed to be a working mother. Perhaps for this reason, 50% of the women said they would seriously consider not having children, given the risk motherhood poses on their career.

Of those surveyed who were already mothers, 55% said that balancing work and motherhood has been an obstacle to continuing to work, with 20% saying that a lack of support from their employer has made working difficult. Many women took 6 months or less of maternity leave after the birth of their child(ren). Overall, 62% of the working moms returned to work for financial reasons, and 30% returned for fear of losing their jobs. Many of the women said that they are considering re-training so that they might have the option to work more flexible hours and for better pay. Work in professional services such as accountancy and finance was considered by many women as being more appealing, affording more flexible working hours and greater earning potential.

A spokesperson for the AAT said:

 “The findings, whilst sad, are unfortunately not surprising. In my work I have come across a lot of women who worry about balancing their care and career commitments or who have decided to retrain as their current role provides little flexibility. This is a shame as working mums are brilliant employees who can often get more done in less time. This is what is important: the quality of work people produce, not the number of hours that they sit at their desk.”

Read more about the study here.

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