Almost one in five (18%) women hide plans to start a family from their employer amid fears it will harm their career, according to a new poll by YouGov and Back2Businessship. The Back2Businessship initiative has been commissioned by media agency Starcom Mediavest Group, Golin PR and recruitment experts f1
The survey of more than 1,000 professional women also suggests 26% feel self-conscious about discussing the need to work flexibly with their bosses. This comes against the backdrop of more than half (58%) saying they plan to alter their career paths to accommodate their plans to start a family.
The need for flexible working was by far the biggest contributor for those looking to make adjustments to their career plans. More than three-quarters (78%) cited this as a major concern when looking to start a family.
Reduced working hours (58%) and looking for shorter commuting times (31%) also played a part in decision-making.
Back2Businessship co-founder Liz Nottingham singled out the need for skills-based training for mothers as one of the biggest requirements highlighted by the report.
“This research highlights once again that UK workplaces still need to work harder to meet the needs of women who want to have a child. Our back2businessship initiative is all about highlighting and then redressing this issue within our associated sectors, but all businesses, across all industry sectors, need to evolve further,” she said.
“It is time to abolish a working world where women are forced to change career plans in exchange for family, or hide their family plans for fear of harming their career prospects. Businesses must rethink the way they help females shape their careers.”
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