Babies are bad for careers

Statistically speaking, as a woman one of the worst things you can do for your career is have a baby.

It’s a sobering thought.

Despite being aware of this, I am disheartened each time a woman comes to me and tells me that their confidence has plummeted since becoming a parent and that they are struggling to make the children/work equation work.

Working mothers are stretching themselves thin at work and at home and feel like they are failing at both. Their struggle though does not reflect their capabilities.

The impact is personal but the issues are structural. 

Most workplaces are geared to meet the needs of working parents and continue to be set up based on outdated, biased assumptions. And it’s women’s careers that suffer for it.

I supported women with PhDs who have advanced to senior levels and were ready to give it all up and find a ‘Saturday job’ because they were tired of the stress. I have met incredibly talented, highly skilled women who have taken extended breaks from their work because the stress was more than they wanted to live with but now they’re struggling to return.

Thankfully change is afoot with flexible working campaigns, lobbying in the workplace, shared parental leave, returnships and more supporting women to have the career they have worked so hard for, as well supporting fathers to be able play a greater role in the lives of their children.

There remains a long way to go but it is increasingly possible to make work work. It starts with knowing what you want from your working life, which is why I am hosting a workshop on 5 July to support you to work out your career vision and develop an action plan to make it happen.

Early bird tickets available until 22 June