Moms feel empowered, but have little support in workplace
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
A majority of working
mothers have professional ambitions and believe they are receiving support from
their spouses and families, but are challenged by a lack of childcare benefits
offered by their workplaces, according to a national survey by Care.com, an
online caregiver resource.
Nearly eight out of
10 working moms enjoy being a working parent, according to the survey of 1,000 employed
American women who have children under 18. Half of the women said working
enables them to be strong role models for their children.
What’s more, nearly
60 percent aspire to move higher in the professional ranks -- and promotion
feels possible. Nearly eight in 10 working moms do not feel they have been passed
over for a promotion because of a perceived lack of commitment to work. Forty
percent said working makes them more creative as a parent and being a parent
has added perspective that enhances their contributions at work. Nearly
one-third are motivated to work and take on new roles since becoming a parent,
while nearly as many said they are more productive since having children.
Working moms report
support at home has enabled them to work. More than three-quarters said they have
a spouse or partner who participates in the raising of their children. Among
those, nine out of 10 feel their spouse or partner supports their career goals.
Plus, feelings of "mommy guilt" are not a huge factor in their lives;
64 percent said job demands do not interfere with their ability to be a good
Even so, as more
women enter or re-enter the workplace, and professional aspirations grow,
businesses are seen as ignoring the needs of working moms. Nearly three out of
four companies employing these working moms do not offer childcare benefits. Fewer
than 20 percent offer flex-spending accounts, 6 percent offer on-site childcare,
5 percent offer emergency back-up care and 4 percent subsidize childcare.
This lack of
childcare support has had a detrimental effect on women’s performance and
career goals, the survey revealed. Nearly 40 percent of the respondents had to
miss work during the last year because of a childcare issue.
"This survey makes it clear that much still needs to be done in the
workplace to support them in motherhood,” said Katie Bugbee, managing editor of
Care.com. "Women now hold more than half of the entry-level jobs at American blue-chip
companies. According to the 2011 White House Report on Women, women will
account for nearly 60 percent of total undergraduate enrollment by 2019. When
nearly 40 percent of the female workforce has to miss work because of a
childcare issue, the productivity loss is felt on the bottom line.”