Studies have shown that 27.8% of women are in full-time work or self-employed three years after childbirth, compared to 90% of new fathers. While 26% of men have been promoted or moved to a better job in the five years following childbirth, the figure is just 13% for women. These statistics beg the question: What are Financial Services firms doing to encourage women to return to work after having a child?
To answer this question: companies in Financial Services are taking various measures to support women who are returning to the workforce after maternity leave. Some of these measures include:
- Flexible working arrangements: Various UK companies are offering flexible working hours and remote work options to help women balance work and motherhood.
- Career development: Firms in the FS space are providing training and development programs to help women catch up on industry changes and advancements during their time away.
- Mentorship: Some firms have established mentorship programs to support and guide women returning to work after maternity leave.
- Parental leave policies: Enhanced parental leave policies are also being offered, including paid leave and flexible return-to-work options.
These are just a number of initiatives aimed at reducing the barriers women face when returning to work after maternity leave, and then helping them to re-enter the workforce smoothly. This being said, it is one thing to incentivise women to come back to work, but it is more important to retain them after.
These are some of the ways that have been suggested in order to boost that retention:
- Fostering a supportive culture: Creating a supportive company culture that values and prioritises diversity, equality, and work-life balance.
- Networking opportunities: Providing networking opportunities and connecting new mothers with experienced mentors who can offer guidance and support.
- Recognition and appreciation: Recognising and appreciating the contributions of working mothers and promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
In terms of what the stats say, 75.8% of women returned to work after the birth of their first child. In particular, 32% returned to work full-time and 44% part-time; 43% returned to the same job, and 33% started a different job (Sage). Only time will tell as to whether the above measures will further improve these statistics, but it is clear to see that FS firms are trying to incentivise women to come back to work after their maternity leave.