Employers rely on parents for a thriving workforce. Over 70% of all mothers with children under 18 in the US[i] and UK[ii] work. That number rises to over 90% of all fathers. Today’s workforce is made up of more people with dependent children than those without them. But most employers don’t do enough to support them—and mothers are bearing the cost.
Becoming a mother is now the most significant driver of the gender pay gap[iii]. The motherhood penalty – the loss in lifetime earnings experienced by women raising children – is perpetuated by the unfair share of childcare women take on in almost every country around the world. While all parents face difficult trade-offs when it comes to blending work and family, these trade-offs have staggering consequences on women’s career opportunities and earning power.
The role of employers in advancing gender equality is receiving ever more attention from companies, governments, and philanthropists around the world. In fact, 3 in 4 companies now say that their CEO is highly committed to gender diversity[iv]. Still, today’s culture of work is not designed to support mothers as they navigate the pressures of caring and careering. As Melinda French Gates recently wrote, “If we ever want to see anything close to true gender equality, we need more workplace policies and public policies that prioritize caregivers—and employers have an important role to play in both.”
The Equality Institute is undertaking a new initiative looking at the challenges parents face in the workplace, how these challenges differ for mothers versus fathers and other people caring for children, and what employers can do to help overcome them. But we need your help.
What has your experience managing family and work been like? Has your employer been supportive? What organizational policies, practices, and behaviours have you seen help or hinder parents at work?
If you can share your thoughts by taking our 5 minute survey you will be playing an important role in creating a new toolkit we will be designing for employers over the next year. The survey is anonymous and designed to gather perspectives from both people with and without children. If you would like to remain involved in this work, you can indicate you would like to receive a copy of our findings and insights by sharing your email at the end of the survey.
Please click here to share your views:
Parents in the Workplace Survey
We look forward to hearing from you!
[ii] The Office of National Statistics
[iii] PwC Women in Work Index 2023