Issues Persist for Mothers in the Workforce

Source: Pixabay

By: Marie Donlon

Even with calls for longer maternity leaves and private places for women to ready for breastfeeding, mothers, particularly mothers of small children, continue to face a great many challenges when returning to the workforce after having children.

Often, according to a recent study from the National Bureau of Economic Research, women experience fewer opportunities for advancement upon returning to work after having a child.

Other challenges affecting mothers who return to the workforce include earning less than women without children. According to the study, a woman with one child will earn 7 percent less than a woman without children. And that number doubles to 14 percent for women with a second child.

Breastfeeding continues to be a hot-button topic in the workplace with few companies offering a private place for mother’s to comfortably pump. This failure to provide a private place may force women to leave work early, in some cases without pay, to feed their child.

Insufficient maternity leave allowances continue to also challenge new mothers. With the standard amount of time to take for maternity leave being stalled at 12 weeks, most women can’t afford to go that long without full pay, forcing them back into the workforce much sooner than previous generations of working mothers. More alarming still is that nearly two-thirds of women don’t take a maternity leave at all for fear of losing their job or income.

To read more about the challenges facing mothers in the workplace, go to 4 Ways the Workplace Hasn’t Changed for American Mothers.