Flexible working. Feminism. Fun.

10 facts about working mums that we should all be angrier about

10 facts about working mums that we should all be angrier about

My tens of regular readers may have noticed that I bang on about working mothers’ issues a lot.

The thing is, we’re pretty fucked. I was unaware of exactly how fucked until I became a parent myself, and discovered that despite having a flexible employer and a supportive partner, being a working mother feels impossible at times.

The crushing cost of childcare, the assumption that the mother is the ‘default’ parent, the fact that professional part-time jobs are so difficult to find – it’s like society is saying, “It’s cute that you want to do this whole working thing, but are you sure you wouldn’t be happier at home with a baby attached to your boob?”

Some of us would – and that’s okay. But I wouldn’t, and I know a lot of other mothers wouldn’t either. We want to work, but we struggle to fit family life around roles with rigid hours, and have to fight the assumption that part-time workers only have partial skills.

Here are just a few shocking facts about being a working mum:

1. 59% of UK employers agree that a woman should have to disclose whether she is pregnant during the recruitment process

2. 46% of employers agree it is reasonable to ask women if they have young children during recruitment

3. Around a third of UK employers believe that women who become pregnant and new mothers in work are ‘generally less interested in career progression’ when compared to other employees

4. Nearly 30% of UK mothers don’t return to work after having a baby because it’s not financially worth it, thanks to childcare costs that are the highest in the world

5. In the UK, women and men now spend a near-identical amount of time working when household chores are included – but men are paid for almost 25% more of their work

6. By the time a couple’s first child is 20, many mothers earn less than 30% of what fathers do

7. The average female employee currently earns around 9.1% less per hour than the average male employee – and about a quarter of the wage gap is a result of mothers taking part-time work

8. Mums of young children are losing out on more than £1 billion in earnings each year

9. 41% percent of women who have reduced their hours after having children say their responsibilities have not lessened

10. Women lose out on nearly £140 billon a year due to the gender pay gap

With International Women’s Day coming up on 8 March, now is the time to talk about these issues. Now is the time to #PressforProgress. Now is the time to realise that there are an awful lot of us women out there, and if we all demand that things change – well, who’s going to be able to stop us?

10 facts about working mums that we should all be angrier about

Burnished Chaos
Rhyming with Wine
The Pramshed



18 thoughts on “10 facts about working mums that we should all be angrier about”

  • The gender pay gap is a disgrace in this country and so is the childcare costs. It’s like the government want to keep mums at home instead of helping them get back into the work place and taken seriously as a working professional! #FamilyFunLinky

  • I totally agree! I chose to work part time/not at all/full time throughout my children’s lives -they are now 17 and 15. I have tried it all and it all sucks to be honest! With my eldest almost 18, I earn considerably less than my other half and I have a masters degree. I chose part time because it just can’t be done. Children need to have a parent ‘present’ in their lives and when I was working full time, spinning plates were being dropped all over the place! My Hubbie carried on regardless….it wasn’t his ‘fault’ it’s just the way it is. As their mother, the guilt was continuous and horrendous and in the end I went part time. It was more difficult tbh once they were about 9 and 11. I was sold a lie growing up and if anyone has the answer, my advice would be to patent it and sell it so you can do both! #familyfun

  • Some of those statistics no scrap that all of those statistics are really shocking. I can’t honestly believe that we have made so little progress and are still seen by many as second class when it comes to employment. -#FamilyFun

  • This is a great post and I really hope things can start to change. Childcare costs are an absolute joke. So many mum’s are put off by them as they just can’t earn enough to meet them. And I don’t feel it is a lack of women wanting to progress in their career, but with employer’s attitudes, the cost of child care etc there is just no helping hand and incentive.

  • Every time I see those statistics I am outraged!!!!!!! We don’t seem to have moved on much since the 1970’s when we got equal pay. Then there’s all the studies showing how mums have been pushed out of work during their maternity leave or shortly after returning. Grr!!!!!!!

  • I dropped down to working 4 days a week since my second child was born. My choice, of course. But I would have no life at all if I worked 5 days AND did all the other stuff. While my husband is amazing at parenting (including chauffeuring and homework duties) he’s not so great with the housework. So I do all of that plus my job, and half the parenting, and that is a TON of work. And let’s not talk about how it’s almost not worth it for me to work, considering how expensive child care is…
    ~Jess
    #FamilyFun

  • Thanks for writing this because I’m really Feckin’ annoyed about each and everyone of these issues. The cost of childcare is insane, my husbands employers look at my like he’s insane if he ever says he needs time off to look after our son (or just work his hours), I’ve worked part time and missed out on key things, and part time with no reduction in my life work making it sometimes unmanageable, I’ve worked full and one and almost burned out. My list could go on. I’m angry that we are still having to talk about this and angrier that nothing seems to be changing on a material level. #FortheLoveofBlog

  • I love that you have written it as reading it (with steam coming from my ears) is important..the conversations must be had. #fortheloveBLOG

  • When you look at the cold, hard facts, written down like this, it really is shocking! I was doing some research for a post last week and was disgusted at the pay gap between men and women. We need to get these stats out there and show just how far society still needs to go… #dreamteam

  • I’ve been incredibly lucky up to now and have been able to be a SAHM because that is what I wanted at the time. I’ve just returned to work now though and although one child is in school full time, the cost of childcare means I’m practically working for nothing, especially when school holidays are taken into account. If I had two children in need of childcare it would actually cost me more than I would earn, it’s ridiculous.
    Thank you for joining the #FamilyFunLinky x

  • The cost of childcare is so restrictive in this country. I have worked half of my week for negative net earnings (due to childcare costs for 2 children) just to keep my job and hours. I took the hit knowing that when funding and school came in I’d be better off, but this is such an obscure position to find ourselves in?

    Thanks for linking this extremely relevant post with #DreamTeam x

  • Oh my gosh, those stats are shocking. I would argue that someone with a family is more likely to be committed to their job as they are less likely to go job hopping whenever it takes their fancy. It’s not fair is it. I also agree that childcare is so expensive! Thanks for joining us for the #DreamTeam xx

  • The stats make pretty depressing reading. I think all any working person – whether female or male – really wants is to feel they are on a level playing field compared to their peers. Sadly, we’re still some way from genuine equality. #DreamTeam

  • This is so true. The stats don’t lie and completely stack up with the attitudes I’ve faced in the work place over the last 5 years. I want to say its a generation thing, so by the time our kids are in our position (being working parents) I think this will have changed. But for us now, it is how it is – we are almost the bridge generation #fortheloveofBLOG

  • Absolutely awful to read these stats, but thank you for collating them together because I think the more the reality is spelled out in black and white then perhaps hopefully we will get closer to change. There still exists a gaping void between men and women, it is very obvious in attitudes in the workplace. While many people speak about equality, not enough people practice what they preach. Thanks so much for sharing with #fortheloveofBLOG

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