International Women's Day 2020

To celebrate International Women’s Day, LinkedIn is shedding light on the barriers mothers face when returning to work after taking a career break and how organizations can learn how to better support women through this transition.

Through an in-depth analysis via a survey we were able to shed light on how employers can support women reentering the workforce after taking a career break.

Working Mothers are an Untapped Talent Pool

  • Mothers want to be in the workforce:

    • 37% of working women with children decided it was best for them, mentally, to get back into the workforce 

  • Hiring managers see the value in hiring working mothers: 

    • The majority of hiring managers (98%) noted that they’d consider hiring an employee with a career break and more than three-quarters (85%) surveyed think parents should share any career gaps or breaks they’ve had on their resume

    • Hiring managers believe that the soft skills you build as a mother such as being hard-working (49%) having strong time management skills (37%) and patience (30%) can be a strong advantage in the workplace

    • The top reasons hiring managers would consider hiring someone with a career break on their resume: 

      • Prior knowledge does not have an expiration date (60%)

      • Working parents returning to the workforce are an untapped talent pool (56%)

      • Parents who have taken a career break can re-start their careers at any point (52%)

  • But there is still unconscious bias in the hiring process: 

    • More than half (52%) of women feel they will be dismissed if they highlight this gap on their resume

    • Nearly half (43%) of working parents who are back at work after a career break say that they struggled to get hired after their career break

    • More than half (64%)  of hiring managers recognize that there are unnecessary obstacles that make it challenging for mothers to advance in their careers

How Companies Can Support Moms Returning To Work

  • What parents look for from a company: 

    • Flexible schedule opportunities (67%)

    • Robust parental policies and benefits (45%)

    • Executives and leadership recognition of the importance of parental obligations and policies that support working parents (30%)

    • Programs that support working parents, like employee resource groups and discussion boards (28%)

  • The top programs working parents wish their employer-provided:

    • Flexible schedule options (43%)

    • Childcare solutions for sick kids to help parents navigate last-minute scheduling (37%)

    • Company subsidized child care programs or reimbursement (31%)

  • The importance of support: 

    • 29% of working parents look to have co-workers that understand their commitments outside of work 

    • 28% of working moms look for their company to provide support groups for working parents such as employee resource groups 

Tapping into these insights will not only help attract an untapped talent pool of working moms but it will give your organization a competitive edge. In the 2020s, operationalizing empathy, especially toward working moms who have taken a career break, will help you succeed. Read more about the findings here.

METHODOLOGY: This data-driven analysis was conducted via a Censuswide survey fielded from February 13 - 20, 2020, among 3,000 working parents ages 18-54 and 1,000 hiring managers across the U.S.