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Childcare Costs Prevent 2 In 5 UK Mums From Returning To Work

Childcare Costs Prevent 2 In 5 UK Mums From Returning To Work

Another week, and another report that shows what we already know: that when it comes to the impact having children has on careers, it’s very often women within the workplace who bear the brunt.

Childcare costs continue to soar in the UK with the average annual cost of a full-time nursery place for a child under two now £14,836, a rise of 5.9% in the past year. Places have become more and more difficult to secure too, with new research from Indeed Flex showing that for 40% of women, childcare costs are so prohibitive a return to the workplace isn’t possible.

This finding was also reflected in PWC’s 2023 Women In Work report which shows that among OECD countries, the UK’s ranking for women’s employment dropped five places from nine to 14 since 2020. 

However, it is not all doom and gloom. A cohort of companies are pushing to support parents returning to the workplace through progressive diversity and inclusion policies that offer real support, designed to impact families where it matters most––the bottom line.

Companies such as ITV offer flexible working in the real sense of the word, while PayPal has committed to the expansion of economic policies to support women across its global business.

And there are many other ways for businesses to support mothers within the workplace.

Support In Leadership

McKinsey’s Women in the Workplace report states that when in leadership positions, women in general and especially those with children, strive to support the wellbeing of their team more so than their male counterparts––often to the detriment of their own wellbeing and career progression, resulting in stagnation at middle management level.

For companies which seek to support working mums, encouraging female colleagues to work towards C-suite positions, while offering tangible support such as flexible and hybrid working, mentorship and mental health support can help prevent the hollowing out of the female workforce at upper levels.

Leverage Technology

The pandemic may just be far enough behind us that we can now focus on the benefits it brought, one of which is undoubtedly the speed at which companies across the world were forced to embrace technology and new ways of working.

Leveraging suitable technologies is just one way that companies can help support parents who are returning to the workforce. Normalising virtual meetings, embracing scheduling tools and encouraging the use of team messaging platforms such as Slack and Microsoft Teams can make remote working considerably easier.

This in turn helps parents who are managing competing priorities, as they finally can be in two places at once.

Set Clear Boundaries

For parents who struggle to juggle, one of the easiest things an employer can do is set clear boundaries around working practices and office hours.

Simple things like an email disclaimer stating that out of hours emails don’t need to be responded to immediately can help people better manage their time.

Similarly, leaving the office at the appropriate time is not a sign of slacking, it’s a sign that somebody has achieved their tasks for that day and should be treated as such. It’s also worth noting that cultural changes are best received when implemented from the top down.

Lead By Example

According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap report, it will take another 132 years to address the global gender gap.

See Also

In the UK, things are showing signs of improvement as shown by Grant Thornton’s Women In Business Report which shows that 28% of mid-market businesses have a female managing director.

If you’re a parent returning to the workforce or keen to find opportunities at a company that embraces all aspects of your life, the Alt A Review Job Board is full of positions with companies known for their progressive and supportive policies. Discover three of those below.

Junior News Manager, Airbnb, London

As Junior News Manager with Airbnb you will partner with communications teams across EMEA to manage and coordinate proactive and reactive communications on trust and safety matters.

You will partner with cross-functional stakeholders on trust and safety matters in the press as well as create, develop and execute bold communications plans that help tell the Airbnb story across EMEA. At least five years’ in a similar role is required, as well as a proven track-record working on proactive and reactive communications initiatives involving trust, crisis, policy, regulatory, corporate and financial matters. Get more information here.

HR Business Partner – Global eEcommerce, TikTok, London

Want to work at TikTok? The social platform has an open role for a HR Business Partner, where you will actively participate in translating business plans into talent, engagement, and organisation plans. You will be responsible for performance reviews, learning and development, and employee retention while also improving existing processes and procedures while collaborating with key stakeholders across the business. At least five years’ experience working with multicultural teams and in a scaling global organisation is required, as is a proven track record in understanding the fundamental work of each module of human resources. Plus, you’ll need practical experience in recruitment and performance management, etc. Apply for this HR Business Partner role now.

Senior Product Manager, Comcast, London

The Senior Product Manager at Comcast will lead the charge in shaping product strategy, partnership, and adoption of new technologies that ultimately attract new customers to the platform. You will be responsible for defining the product feature set and roadmap by analysing customer needs and pain points, understanding market trends, and bringing a unique value proposition to the product while coordinating across other functional areas to secure buy-in. At least 10-plus years’ of relevant job experience and demonstrable experience of stakeholder management are necessary. Interested? Get all the information here.

Browse thousands more available opportunities on the Alt A Review Job Board 

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