Let’s take a minute to celebrate working moms! Women with children usually have to work hard at home and at their place of employment, making them doubly deserving of recognition for a job well done.
The Modern Working Mother
Working mothers make up nearly one-third (32%) of all employed women. Some popular fields for working mothers are education, healthcare, and social assistance; 40% of all employed mothers work in one of these areas. The most common jobs for women are teachers (1.3 million) and registered nurses (1.1 million).
In terms of trends, an increasing number of women are waiting until they’re older to have children. The decision to wait to have kids can help young women get a proper education and jumpstart their career. Women with young children are less likely to participate in the labor force compared to those with older children (who are more capable of caring for and entertaining themselves).
Many mothers still sacrifice their careers. Since not all employers and/or governments offer paid time off for motherhood, many women take time off from work for pregnancy, childbirth and/or caretaking responsibilities. Across the world, women perform more than three-quarters (76.2%) of unpaid care work. They spend 2x as much time as men caring for family members and managing household responsibilities.
So, it’s no surprise that mothers are 40% more likely than fathers to report that child care issues harmed their careers. And the penalties for taking time out of the workforce are high: women who took just one year off from work earned 39% less than women who did not.
The Effects of COVID-19 on Working Mothers
The coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on the labor market, and how employees work. Remote work has now been normalized, and while that introduces exciting, new opportunities—it also further complicates the responsibilities of working mothers.
When schools and daycares closed because of COVID-19, parents struggled with managing full-time children commitments. Now, WFH parents face constant distractions. Nearly 50% of parents report being unable to focus on work when their kids are home, and a majority struggle with providing education for their children.
The negative consequences of the pandemic have disproportionately affected the careers of mothers with young children than fathers. Women ages 25-44 are almost 3x more likely than men to not be working due to childcare demands.
Helping Mothers Find Meaningful Work
Solving the modern working mother dilemma involves many complexities and a multi-tiered approach to support. Mothers need to be supported not just at home, but also throughout the recruitment process to land work with a flexible, nurturing employer.
One way for hiring teams to be more inclusive and respectful of mothers’ busy schedules is to incorporate an option for pre-recorded video interviews into their recruitment process. This way, women with children are able to participate day or night, giving them 24/7 convenience to record answers to interview questions. That may be in the early hours of the morning before others in the household are awake, or it may be after everyone has gone to bed. This kind of applicant empowerment can really help mothers find work.
There’s a well-known expression: “If you need something done, ask a busy person.” Well, some of the busiest, most capable workers we know are mothers! Thanks to all the moms out there who are working so hard.
Honestly, is there anything they can’t do?