New York — May 7
In celebration of Mother’s Day, TheLadders released a new survey revealing that working mothers care more about having flexible hours after returning to work than spending more time at home while on leave.
In fact, when asked to prioritize six “work situations” as a working mother, 44 percent chose flexibility as most important, vs. only 5 percent who said they would opt for longer maternity leave, according to the survey.
TheLadders, a job-matching service, surveyed more than 250 women who are — or soon will be — working mothers.
In addition to flexible working hours and extensive time off, working mothers ranked other scenarios as follows: ability to work from home (29 percent), convenient working hours (20 percent), onsite day care (2 percent) and generous paternity leave.
The female professionals surveyed are in industries such as construction, education, engineering, finance, human resources, law, marketing, medical/science, operations, real estate, sales and technology.
TheLadders Mother’s Day survey also revealed other key findings:
The No. 1 reason respondents returned to work is for “financial reasons,” although resuming employment because they “enjoy their career” is a close second. Needing benefits — health and child care — and just wanting to “get out of the house” were less motivating rationale.
When asked how having a child affects the way that working mothers feel they are regarded by coworkers, 42 percent felt their colleagues are “supportive and understanding,” while 18 percent believe that others “behaved the same.” Almost a quarter — 24 percent — said their coworkers are “supportive, but don’t understand my situation,” and 16 percent said their teammates are “resentful of my competing priorities or schedule.”
Balancing a career and a family is a huge struggle for 87 percent of respondents, with 55 percent admitting that “excelling at both is overwhelming”; 13 percent “struggled at first, but now it’s under control”; 16 percent “always put family first and work has suffered for it”; and 3 percent “always put work first and family has suffered for it.”