Research indicates that after having children, the wage gap between men and women expands substantially. This is largely due to more mothers opting for part-time jobs like child care or other family responsibilities over higher-paying full-time roles. Unfortunately, this perpetuates a cycle of gender inequality in the workplace, hindering female workers from achieving their potential career success.
Female employees contribute immensely to the success of any workforce, and companies that recognize this demonstrate their commitment by providing maternity leave benefits and flexible working conditions and investing in public services. Encouraging women to return after taking a break is necessary for successful employers. Companies must make it easier for returning women and show how much they value female employees in the workplace.
Being an employer of choice means understanding women’s unique challenges when attempting to reenter the workforce after taking a break from child care. By recognizing these issues and crafting solutions, companies can set themselves apart from their rivals by demonstrating they prioritize gender equality and provide employees with a secure environment where everyone is supported.
The following policies should be implemented to make it easier for women (and men) who want to return to employment after taking some time off from their careers:
- Maternity leave entitlements
- Flexible working arrangements
- Public service investment in child care
It’s time to break through traditional gender roles and the outdated understanding of parenthood. Top Employers Institute is offering certification programs to ensure companies create an inclusive environment that welcomes women or parents who step away from the workplace back into their roles without any extra strain.
Trevor Bogan is Regional Director of the Americas at Top Employers Institute.