DCU develop new research on post-maternity leave workplace best practice
Organisations that view maternity leave as a brief interlude in a woman’s career are the most successful in retaining high potential female employees post-maternity leave, according to new research from DCU.
In contrast, where maternity leave was viewed as a major disruption for a company, negative experiences were more common for returning mothers, the study, which is the first of its kind in Ireland to explore perspectives of mothers, managers and organisations, found.
“The transition back to work is laden with challenges that can lead to career derailment when the return is not managed effectively,” Dr. Yseult Freeney, Associate Professor in Organisational Psychology at DCU Business School, said.
“Ultimately, positive returns are associated with a renewed focus on careers and a strengthened relationship with the organisation.”
The study of over 300 women, HR directors and line managers in 28 major organisations found that best practice identified include organisations taking a longer term view of a woman’s career, implementing manager training to support the transition back to work, permitting phased return and employing flexible practices for all.