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Stop Press: Working mothers are good for children

If you’re a working mum, or about to go back to work after starting a family, you can now officially give yourself a pat on the back (and breathe a sigh of relief). A new business study by Harvard University recently revealed that daughters of working mothers enjoy better careers, higher pay and more equal relationships than those raised by stay-at-home mothers.

So far, so good if you’re reading this on a packed commuter train heading into the city. But what if you’re at home, fresh off the school run and contemplating a day minding young children whilst simultaneously juggling all the other millions of tasks the day usually holds – without a pay cheque at the end of the month? Well, it’s not all bad news.

Although the study looked at data from 24 countries including the UK and US, the researchers conclude that “whether you stay at home or are employed, part-time or full-time, children benefit from exposure to role models offering a wide set of alternatives for leading rich and rewarding lives.”

Greater support for working parents still required

In addition, the study highlights the need for greater support to help working parents. Harvard Business School professor, Kathleen McGinn, lead author of the study, says, “Our findings suggest that policy should focus on supporting mothers who work – part-time or full-time. Providing quality and reasonably priced childcare is an important factor but policy makers should also address workplace policies.”

Other key findings from the research signal good news for career women. The study cites greater equality in the workplace compared with previous generations, and therefore, greater opportunity. It also infers that sons of working mothers are more ready to take on a larger share of parenting and household duties, compared with those who had stay-at-home mothers. To read the full report, you can find out more here.

Getting back into employment, the flexible way

Here at Ten2Two, we don’t like to see any parents getting a bashing in the media, as is so often the case. Ultimately, there are many anxieties associated with juggling employment and the family home – so if you aren’t yet back at work, and aren’t even sure if it’s the right thing for you, don’t beat yourself up.

The good news is, the opportunities are out there and ready to be explored, if and when you decide you’d like to. And by considering a flexible role at some point in the future, it’s likely you’d be well placed to keep all those so-called balls juggling nicely in the air, without too much difficulty.

If you’re inspired by this recent research or feel that a change of position might be on the cards, don’t forget that we offer our Members a range of support such as ‘Confidence Building’ meet-ups, networking, interviewing and CV workshops. Get in touch to find out more. In the meantime, how about that pat on the back?

3 min read