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Monday, 15 October 2012

Mum's in the labour market

I recently read an article via The real me titled "Why you should think about employing mothers" being a mum of four  (youngest being 16 weeks) I found this article very interesting we hear so much in the news about how women of child bearing age are at a disadvantage; taking time off for maternity leave puts them at risk of not climbing the corporate ladder.
Well I have to ask myself do I feel disadvantaged...? My answer in short would be NO!  I mean don't get me wrong I would love nothing more than to be at the top of my game within the media industry but the reality is that I had my first child before I'd gained any real qualifications.
Despite having children I've always had a desire to get a degree in media and I was lucky enough to graduate in 2011 with a media and marketing degree. Sheila Lawlor was quoted in The Telegraph as saying that maternity leave should be scraped and in its place mothers should be offered a career break, with retraining being offered once the child is in early years education. To be fair to her she also points of that the hourly pay of a mother returning from Maternity leave will be less than that of her male counterpart and of course the time taken off during leave will have a knock on effect during pension age.
In my opinion the way to settle this would be to once and for all eliminate the pay gap. Women have to take time off after child birth to recover from what is a very stressful and emotional experience but if she is lucky enough to have a partner then he should be given the option to share her maternity leave.
Of course this wouldn't suit single parent families as the burden ultimately falls of the remaining parent, I think its so important to point out that having children doesn't stop a women for continuing to be ambitious, if it was her intention before child birth to be on the board of a FTSE 100 company them her desire will inevitably still be there once her baby has arrived.
I really feel passionately that a working mother is a valuable asset to a company. I believe that if more companies offered flexible working and cheaper childcare then more women would be able to contribute to the labour market in a way that would benefit family life.