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Lack of Flex Arrangements Keep Moms from Returning to Work

The careers of working mothers continue to suffer even as vaccinations against COVID-19 become widespread and more workplaces reopen.

Between March 8 and April 20, a survey of 1,508 U.S. women who identified as primary caregivers to children under the age of 18 found that:

  • 69 percent planned to remain at home as a full-time caregiver for the time being.
  • Only 31 percent said they planned to return to work within the next 12 months.

Those who had left the workforce said the main reason they were no longer working was because they had lost their jobs due to the pandemic (30 percent) or they stopped working to accommodate their children (70 percent).

“The pandemic continues to wreak havoc on people’s careers, but no one has been hit harder than working mothers, which is especially distressing since over a year has passed and the outlook should be more promising,” said Amanda Augustine, career expert at survey sponsor TopResume, a resume-writing and job-search advice service. “Not only have working women left their jobs in droves, but nearly 3 out of 4 have no intention of returning anytime soon—a grim outlook for employers who are ramping up for a post-pandemic workplace.”

For more than a year, Augustine noted, many working mothers across the U.S. have had to re-evaluate their priorities. “If and when they are ready to re-enter the workforce, many will be searching for opportunities with new criteria,” she added. Employers “will need to commit to providing benefits and implementing programs that better accommodate and support mothers in the workplace.”

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