Long Parenting leave: career disruption not damage
Long parenting leave revisited together with the words "damage" and "career"
It's been a debate that has been around for years. Will long parenting leave damage a career? At one time this was certainly true. Women who took any length of maternity leave complained bitterly about the challenges they faced on their return. 60% of women reported difficulties in relation to pay and conditions when they returned to their previous place of work after even a short break.
Women also experience a ‘motherhood pay gap’, according to the Adam Smith Institute and others. Despite their growing importance in family revenue generation and increase in qualifications, women still assume the role of primary care giver to children, long after it is biologically necessary. Returning to work has become a complex and angst driven issue.
But what about longer term?
Parenting leave gives women a gap in their employment history, which is highly visible on their CVs and online profiles. HR and hiring managers tap into this if they see a CV with any gaps at all . Very often A.T.S will skip over chronological gaps so their CVs may not even see the light of day. The chances of being selected are slim.
But what is changing over time is the very concept of career as well as the notion of damage. Despite the employment and selection process being riddled with second generation discrimination (unconscious bias) there are rays of hope. The idea of what a career actually is, is being redefined. Increasingly we are seeing a growing number of people with non-linear careers replaced by portfolio and cluster careers.
There are a number of tricks to be in a better position:
- Create a strategy. Become an ongoing learner and incorporate learning new skills or keep up to date in old ones. It's impossible to expect the same career trajectory, if you have had an extended career gap for any reason, compared to someone who has remained in the workplace during that time. Read: 10 tips returning from maternity leave
- Stay connected to your professional network - many women go off the radar altogether, which is not necessary.
- Look for companies which offer re-turnships. Many organisations are seeing their alumni as a valuable source of talent. This is going to be a growing trend to cope with global skill set shortages.
It's important to remember that careers aren't damaged, they are simply paused and disrupted. How you choose to deal with this is up to you.
If you want career advice - book a coaching session now!
Found that interesting?
Learn more about our services
Make your dreams a reality with a professional evaluation of your career to date.
The evidence is in. More women in your company can deliver 35% greater financial returns. (Catalyst)
Dates for the Diary
23rd April 2019 at 1800 Podcast with Virgina Franco Executive Storyteller, Resume & LinkedIn Writer
25th April 2019 at 1800 EVE Programme, an initiative of Danone. Twitter Chat “Harnessing Positive Psychology for a Smarter Leadership"
Download and listen free podcasts
How to Create an Effective USP What is a USP? Our Unique Selling Point or UVP (Unique Value Proposition) is our key core message about where...read more
How to Rethink the Modern Workplace for Gender Equality New research shows that diversity and inclusion is a top priority for leaders. So why...read more
Menopause in the workplace In this podcast with Nicki Williams award winning author, keynote speaker and Founder of Happy Hormones for Life,...read more
How to Cultivate Empathy in the Workplace Nancy Milton, international business communications expert, keynote speaker and author, share some vital...read more
Taking Care of your COW Tanvi Guatam, international Personal Branding expert says there is a misconception out there that a personal brand is...read more
The importance of Hard Talk Dawn Metcalfe, author of Managing the Matrix and Hard Talk, shares with us tips to achieve the lasting communication...read more
When Does Female Rivalry Turn into Sabotage There’s a lot of stuff written on social media about female rivalry and competition between women. Some...read more
Goal setting tips to boost your career The happiest people are those that really love their jobs. Those that don’t, dread Sunday nights and...read more
Sexism: How to stage a Bystander Intervention in the Workplace In this power coaching podcast, we're going to tackle one of the questions...read more
How to Get Noticed by Head Hunters & Recruiters In this power coaching podcast, we're going to tackle one of the questions asked multiple...read more
If we rename soft skills as essential skills, will people finally give them the recognition they deserve?read more
Read how one senior manager made 5 fails at mindful communication and what she could have done differentlyread more
Men, you have the power and you need to learn how to be a good male ally to women. Being understanding of the cause is no longer enough.read more