Confessions of mothers who love to work
7 June 2021
- Early findings of a survey by Jamity Communications Ltd have shown that careers are a core part of a working mother’s identity and life; not a ‘nice to have’ or a pure necessity as society may assume.
- The outdated assumptions of employers and society mean that mothers have access to fewer opportunities, lower pay and less pension.
- The survey is still open for people to complete – full results and recommendations will be published in the summer.
Jo Samuel, who specialises in behavioural change campaigns as Director of Jamity Communications Ltd, has unveiled the early findings of a survey of working mums.
The survey, which is still open for people to complete, has so far shown overwhelmingly that mothers enjoy working and that it gives them a sense of fulfilment that motherhood alone cannot provide.
“The main reasons that mothers enjoy working are to develop themselves and contribute to society. Mums aren’t working to tread water, or even just for the money or to fill their time. Just like the men and non-parents they work alongside, mothers want to stretch themselves and make a real difference,” Jo said.
98% of respondents were positive when asked whether they love working. Three quarters of mothers who responded said they love to work with an additional 23% saying ‘sometimes’.
93% said that the fulfilment, joy and sense of identity they get from working couldn’t be achieved in any other way, showing that work isn’t a side-line but a core part of who they are.
However, more than a third think that society doesn’t see mothers as being passionate about their work.
Jo has personal experience as a working mum: “After our first child was born, I was lucky to be able to go back to work part time. However, I find part-time working hard. I’ve felt overlooked and less visible. I’ve felt discriminated against when applying for jobs or promotions.
“I’ve cut back on doing the work I love for the sake of doing something I love even more: raising our children. However, I also have lots of energy and ideas to put towards my career, which can be frustrating.
“I wanted to know if other mothers felt like me, so I created the Mums Who Love To Work survey to find out.”
Within two days, more than 100 mums had completed the survey.
Here is what three respondents said:
- “There is still a lot of judgement around returning to work after having children from society as a whole. I don’t think a lot of people think you can be a good mother and continue to work to a good standard too.”
- “I think mothers still get seen badly if they like to work and don’t always want to put their children first. Or people at work don’t take women as seriously if they’re mums as they feel they aren’t as dedicated.”
- “Having career breaks to have children definitely affects how society sees women with families.”
32% said they don’t have the time, tools and support to achieve their work goals, with almost half saying they ‘sometimes’ do.
Time is the main thing holding them back. Many also mentioned the flexibility of their partner’s job, lack of the so-called ‘village’ needed to raise a child and employers or managers who aren’t supportive.
Their message for employers?
- “We need to make flexible work for both parents the norm, not the exception.”
- “I think it’s a change in society’s attitude that’s needed. Individual employers can change, but its societal in my opinion.”
- “We will never have female leaders in business and equality in the workplace if we don’t value working women in general whether they have children or not.”
- “Let’s not just define mums as mums… This isn’t the case for men!”
- Realise that being ‘at work’ or working set hours isn’t the same as producing high quality work, on time!
Jo said: “This is a huge topic and not something that can be solved overnight. The more we use campaigns like this to face up to the issue and share real-life experiences, the more we will accept that the so-called ‘traditional’ expectations of society are adversely affecting the careers, earnings and lives of mothers everywhere.
“This is about shifting societal and organisational attitudes and behaviours as much as it is about policy.
“I call upon all working mothers who can relate to this topic to complete the survey and help us share this story far and wide.”
The survey is still open for anyone who would like to take part: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/ZWQ55HN
Final results will be shared in the summer via https://jamity.co.uk/
- ‘We, the unsigned’: Some mothers have shared their stories with me about how their careers have been shaped by motherhood. These stories are available on request by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Jo has written a personal blog on this topic: https://jamity.co.uk/2021/05/19/confessions-of-a-mum-who-loves-to-work/
About Jamity Communications Ltd
Jo can help you achieve your goals through better communication and engagement. If you want to challenge people’s perceptions, build their trust or harness the hopes and dreams of your workforce, please get in touch. https://jamity.co.uk/ email@example.com