Jo Samuel, Director of Jamity Communications Ltd, has unveiled the early findings from a survey of working mums in the Stroud area.
The survey, which is still open, has so far shown overwhelmingly that mothers enjoy working and that it gives them a sense of fulfillment that motherhood alone cannot provide.
“The main reason mothers enjoy working is so that they can develop themselves and improve. Mums aren’t just working for the money or to fill their time. They want to stretch themselves and not tread water,” Jo said.
Only 16% of those surveyed agreed that society sees mothers as being passionate about their work. Half said ‘to some extent’.
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 judgment 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 society sees mothers who work as ‘less of a good mother’ for wanting to work and enjoying it.”
- “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.”
35% 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 are not second-rate employees.”
- “Support Mums through the first few years, be flexible and understanding and you will retain talented loyal staff.”
- “You always get more than you pay for.”
- “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.”
Jo said: “The more we share these real-life experiences, the more we can see how the ‘traditional’ expectations of society are directly impacting the careers, earnings, families and overall lives of mothers.”
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/