New survey highlights the challenges facing working mums

Working a job and raising a family is tough, but totally doable and even enjoyable! – Nobody’s complaining. But don’t you wonder how other working mums do it, and what they have to say about it?

Every year publishes the results of a survey that offers up a wealth of information on the way women are working or would like to work and what the hurdles many face when attempting to reach their potential. And 2014 is no exception.

One of the most interesting bits of info revealed by this year’s survey is that nearly half of working mums (44 per cent) would consider sharing their maternity leave with their partner; the number has risen by 3 per cent since last year. The increase may in part be due to a rising number of women who are the main breadwinners in their families.

That said, only 21 per cent of women split childcare and housework equally with their partners, down from 27 per cent last year.

Other findings from the survey include:

  • 56 per cent of women say they earn less pro-rata than they did before having children.
  • 49 per cent say employers discriminate more against women in the current climate.
  • 60 per cent think they have to work harder than men due to unconscious bias.
    the number of parents using grandparents for childcare has risen; 56 per cent make use of grandparents to reduce their childcare costs, 18 per cent use tax credits, 25 per cent have childcare vouchers; 23 per cent use friends; 8 per cent get older siblings to help and 18 per cent get help from other relatives (many use a combination of options).
  • 41 per cent (up 11 per cent on last year) spent nothing on childcare while 20 per cent pay over GBP500 per month.
  • 32 per cent say homeworking is their most favoured type of flexible working and homeworking is the most likely thing to encourage more women to work full time.
  • 53 per cent said that more flexible working would aid them in their career development.
  • Most women got the flexible working they requested, but 23 percent did not with 11 per cent feeling their employer did not even consider their request at all.
  • Only 13 per cent who had taken a career break found a job fairly easily afterwards.
  • Most women (53 per cent) want part-time work and 15 per cent of part timers work at least 6-8 hours extra a week.
  • Just 4 per cent do a job share
  • 74 per cent of working mums are logging on to emails outside of their working hours, with 48 per cent doing so regularly.
  • 14 per cent of respondents were on a zero hours contract or variable shifts – of these 54 per cent prefer it as it offers flexibility, but 17 per cent find it difficult to arrange all the childcare they need. 28 per cent like it for the flexibility but also find it a challenge with childcare.

Ultimately, it seems that flexibility (at home and at work) is what enables women to be both mum and worker. With flexibility and understanding come the ability to multitask – juggling emails and deadlines whilst doing dinner and bathing babies – and get things done.

It’s a mum’s life.

For more detailed information on the WorkingMums survey, CLICK HERE (

What do you find to be the most challenging part of working and raising kids?