Whilst some women may be putting off motherhood in the fear it may hamper their career, it appears having children does not hold you back from flying high in the workplace.
The Forbes list of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women, analysed by TG Escapes, finds that Europe’s most powerful business women have an average of two children each– above the European average of 1.58 children per woman.
Ranking at number 42 on the list, Dame Nemat Talaat Shafik, deputy governor of the Bank of England, 55, shows how having children is not a barrier to career success as she raises five alongside a high-powered position. CEO and fashion designer, Miuccia Prada, has built her fashion empire in addition to being a mother of two children and is worth a cool £2.5 billion.
And it appears working mums in the UK also feel that having kids does not hold you back in your working life. The survey of 2,000 working mums commissioned by outdoor eco-garden office retailer, TG Escapes, shows nearly two thirds of mums also feel they are actually more productive at work since having children.
Sadly, despite many working mums breaking the glass ceiling in their career, over half (56 per cent) of working mums feel that their employer does not do enough to make their work flexible to combine career and children successfully, and nearly one in five mums report they have experienced negativity in the work place when trying to combine children and careers.
Two fifths (40 per cent) of women surveyed also feel that flexible hours are the key to allowing them to combine their career and family life, and just under a quarter state that the ability to work from home and subsidised child costs could also help them to do both jobs more successfully.
One in ten (9 per cent) of women say a crèche at work is the solution to a happy work/family life balance, and 4.5 per cent would appreciate coaching on how best to manage a family and career together. Finally, 3.5 per cent want to be able to take children on work trips with them.
Anna Berez-Brown from Shine4Women, an organisation helping women reach for the top in the workplace comments, ‘Having children and finding a fulfilling career are two of the greatest gifts in life and women who manage to have both are blessed.
‘Generally I think you need to know yourself and understand what it is you really want and go for it without feeling guilty: be an inspiring role model for your offspring and allow yourself to change your mind according to your family needs.’
Mark Brown from TG Escapes says, ‘Our research shows that children doesn’t need to hinder your career success and in fact, some women find having children has meant they are more productive in the time they are at work. Managing the work life balance is of course a challenge but flexible hours and some working from home will help.
‘Unfortunately though, many employers are still not doing enough when it comes to supporting working mothers. As International Women’s Day approaches, employers need to take note and listen to the needs of their female employees with children to cultivate more powerful women. Women with children can be more productive, insightful, hard-working and really are the mothers of multi-tasking!’