Young Leaders with babies: Career Progression

by | Dec 5, 2023 | All, Fatherhood-Motherhood-Children Education | 0 comments

Leaders Plus published end of November 2023 its report on research findings on parents career ambitions, and how employer can retain and support them

Leaders Plus launched its first ever research report – Career Progression Gaps: the next frontier.

The Big Parent Career Choices Survey was completed by nearly 900 working parents. It found that 86% of parents want to progress their careers in the next five years, with 51% wanting to progress in the next two years.

It also found what is holding them back…

Despite over half of working parents believing that having children has made them more productive, only 30% of those surveyed think that progression is possible with their current employer.

A staggering 44% would not recommend their employer due to lack of support for their caregiving responsibilities.

You can’t be what you can’t see.

While many organisations are making efforts to improve their formal flexible working policies, the reality according to the survey seems that informal flexibility (such as when a child is sick) disappears in more senior roles, due to lack of realistic role models normalising it.

The story is similar with formal flexibility such as part-time working or job shares in senior roles. Though these options may be available, they are very rarely explicitly advertised, and parents rarely see senior roles being performed on anything other than a full-time basis incompatible with their family circumstances.

85% of the working parents we asked believed that the workload of a senior role would be incompatible with their caregiving responsibilities, and due to the lack of role models showing otherwise, many don’t even attempt to negotiate…

Our survey showed that there is a stigma associated with being a working parent – assumptions about ambition disappearing and commitment waning – that impacts mums much more than dads.42% of mums in our survey had received comments questioning their commitment to the job, compared to 26% of dads.

The results of the survey were enormously frustrating but, sadly, verified what we already knew from conversations with our Fellows and broader community

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