A third of working parents claim caring responsibilities hold them back from career progression

It is claimed that flexible working arrangements are the best way employers can give all employees a ‘fair chance to progress’.

More than a third of employees say being a parent is stalling their career progress, according to a recent study, but experts suggest adopting flexible working arrangements will help businesses support employees.

A survey of parents with children under the age of 18 who were either working or on flexi-furlough in August 2021, found that 35% said that being a parent and having caring responsibilities holds them back from promotion at work. Among mothers specifically, this number rose to two in five (41%).

Almost as many 38% said that the people who worked the longest hours were the most respected by senior leaders in their organisation, while more than two in five (44%) of working parents felt that the senior leaders in their organisation were not positive role models for achieving a good work-life balance.

It was revealed that 14% of respondents had additional caring responsibilities such as caring for a sick, elderly or disabled family member, on top of being a parent. Of this group, half said being a carer was holding back their opportunities to be promoted.

Among all of the surveyed working parents, more than a third (36%) were concerned that taking time off for caring needs would be frowned upon at work, rising to nearly half among those with additional caring responsibilities.

However, there were some positive results for working parents too. More than half said their organisation supports parents and people with caring responsibilities effectively, while two in five said that the pandemic has had a positive impact on workplace culture at their organisation.

Should you have any questions on how flexible working could be an option within your business and support your most valuable asset, your employees, contact us for practical advice and support.

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