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Use our step-by-step framework to help your returning mums thrive

Written by Dr Emma Waltham | Parental Returners Expert


The impact of maternity on women’s career development is currently receiving lots of media attention. While it’s encouraging that the issue is being recognised, the themes in the news certainly come as no surprise to us, as they’re frequently raised in our 1:1 parental coaching sessions with new and expectant mums, and during Returning Works® parental awareness workshops.


Childcare – A recent report from PwC found that women in Britain are being priced out of work and suffering from a growing gender pay gap as the result of a lack of affordable childcare. The Office for National Statistics has found that 32,000 women were forced to leave the workforce last year due to a lack of affordable childcare.


Workplace bias – Women are still facing workplace maternity bias. This is highlighted by research which found that two fifths of female senior managers have been asked whether or not they have children or plan to have them in the future during job interviews – despite these questions potentially leading to discrimination claims under the Equality Act.


Paternity leave–The impact of extended time out of the workplace cannot be under-estimated; new mums miss out on training and development opportunities during maternity leave, often causing their careers to stall.


This is exacerbated by the UK’s “measly” paternity rights. According to this report nearly a third of UK fathers surveyed took no paternity leave, while 62% said they would take more leave if the rate of statutory paternity pay increased.


Grim reading – but change is coming!

These statistics and reports certainly make grim reading, and as an employer, line manager or colleague it can seem overwhelming and, quite frankly, depressing. How can you tackle systemic workplace and societal issues that often seem like they’re here to stay?


I do believe that, slowly, change is happening. Employers are realising that, if they want to address gender pay gaps and achieve gender parity at senior levels, they need to take action and keep their returning mums’ careers on track.


We work with organisations who recognise the impact of these issues on their returning parents, and have started to identify areas where they can take action.


Their first step is often to book one of our inclusive and interactive Parental Allyship Workshops.


Get in touch to start a conversation about how we can work together with your organisation to make it an employer of choice for working parents.

Our framework – identifying the issues

Our workshops are incredibly popular because not only do they raise awareness and open conversations around unfamiliar topics – such as boundary-setting at work, maternity bias and allyship – but because we give our clients an action plan of practical steps so they can start making real change.


Using our tried and tested framework, we help organisations identify areas where there are issues and room for improvement – whether it is a need for more empathetic line managers, clearer maternity policies, tweaks to your processes, or career progression tracking. We then work together to provide an easy to implement action plan, allowing our clients to tackle these issues with confidence.


Take the first step to creating a more welcoming and inclusive workplace for your returning mums, so they return and thrive: book a Parental Allyship Workshop for this autumn.

Allow your returning mums to thrive

Our team at Returning Works® has recently grown, so we currently have even more capacity to deliver Parental Allyship Workshops this autumn.


Let’s arrange a call to discuss how we can work together to create a culture where your returning mums will want to stay and continue their career pathways. You can book a one-off workshop, or a series of events to run throughout the year; message me to book.

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