As many working moms know, it's practically impossible to strike a work/life balance. Mainly because both are too demanding to possibly give them the attention they need and deserve. But for most working moms, not working isn't an option. However, the workforce isn't kind to mothers. A new study confirms this, showing that those who took a break to raise families have trouble re-entering the workforce.
Job finding site FlexJobs conducted a survey of over 2,000 women with children under the age of 18 at home. According to their findings, 31 percent of women who stopped working to raise kids wanted to keep working, but their jobs were too inflexible to keep working. Additionally, 42 percent of the women admitted that it was either extremely difficult or just difficult to restart their career after the break. In spite of this, the labor force participation of women with kids under 18 at home rate rose from 71.1 in 2017 to 71.5 in 2018.
But, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that mothers with younger children are less likely to be in the workforce, compared to moms with older kids. Why? Because there is a lack of flexible jobs. With younger kids there is so much more working against you. Sickness can keep them out of daycare or preschool for days due to rules. Or the cost of childcare is too high, so staying home is more cost effective. And at many elementary schools, after school programs that benefit working parents aren't available until the kids are in first or second grade. No wonder 71 percent of moms considered leaving their jobs because of the lack of flexibility.
FlexJobs deduced that the most important things women are looking for with a prospective job is the work/life balance. 82 percent of women are chasing the illusive work/life balance. but 75 percent of them are concerned about flexible options for work. and tied into that, 77 percent are worried about their work schedule.
Sometimes, women may take it upon themselves to implore their companies to even out the work/life balance. For some women that means trying to figure out a way to make their jobs more flexible. But of the 56 percent of women who talked to their employers about making their jobs more flexible, only 32 percent were successful. Those are pretty bleak realities.
And while most of the survey participants expressed a "need" to work, 73 percent of parents "want" to work. Flexibility in the workplace would enable them to be better parents as well. A huge majority of the parents surveyed (91 percent) said that if they have more flexibility at work, they could be more hands-on with their kids. Like Chaperoning your kid's school trip or showing up for multiple soccer games. Maybe one day, employers will take notice.