A new study shows that people are waiting for the right employer – not the right person – before they have a baby.
Modern Family Index’s third annual report reveals that a massive 70 per cent of new parents say that their employer tops their list of considerations when deciding to start a family.
The study revealed that one in five women felt they were at a higher risk of being fired after telling their employer they were expecting a baby.
One in five said they were also passed over for a new opportunity, and one in four felt judged from their bosses or coworkers for getting pregnant. This isn’t surprising; it seems to echo the sentiment of my girlfriends in fields like marketing, media and finance.
Despite this, 96 per cent of expectant mothers are actually eager to return to work after they give birth and 92 per cent plan to be as committed to their job post-baby as they were before.
Of course, this could easily change once the baby enters the world – it has with many of my once career-focused girlfriends turned part-time employees/stay-at-home moms.
For those who do return to the office, it’s not always an easy transition.
According to the study, 43 per cent of new parents feel that their employer sees them as less committed than they were before. One-third feel that they are even actively discriminated against.
About 39 per cent of new parents think their employer would rather they found another job. Because of this, many actually do find a new job after the baby.
About half of the new parents reported leaving their jobs in favour of less money at a more family-friendly company.
It should be kept in mind that this is an American study. And among many things we have going for us that our friends south of the border don’t is a year-long maternity leave (as opposed to the standard measly three months in good ol’ ‘Merica).
With that said, a handful of forward-thinking American companies – like Netflix– have started to recognize the needs of new parents.
Appropriately, the study says that employees need to offer flexible work schedules, at-work childcare and even human resources training to increase acceptance of coworkers who are parents, along with disciplinary action for employees who treat working parents poorly if they want to retain new employees.