Thursday 27 June 2019

How having children puts many off changing career

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Breda Heffernan

Breda Heffernan

More than three-quarters of working parents said their family responsibilities have dissuaded them from changing careers.

Over a third also said they have been overlooked for career opportunities or a new role due to their family commitments.

The survey of 647 respondents by found that 28pc felt their career had not advanced because they were unable to attend work events outside of their normal working hours.

However, many working parents reported going above and beyond in the workplace.

Some 58pc said they regularly have to work outside of standard working hours in order to maintain the balance between their work and home life.

One-third also said they get up earlier to get through their workload, while a quarter said they stayed up late to work.

Almost half said they were required to attend work events, such as business dinners or networking events, outside of their normal working day.

Employees who were unable to attend these afterhours events risk being overlooked for promotion.

Almost a third said they felt their careers had suffered because they were unable to attend such events, while 39pc of respondents said they had been overlooked for advancements in their career due to their family responsibilities. Over three-quarters of respondents said they had decided against applying for roles that involved overseas travel.

The survey found that just over half of working parents were less ambitious for their careers once they had started their family.

Despite the challenges in balancing their career and family commitments, 20pc of respondents said their employer's efforts to facilitate their needs as a working parent were "excellent".

A further 45pc rated their employer as "good" or "very good", while the remaining 35pc described their employer's efforts as "fair" or "poor".

Commenting on the findings, general manager Orla Moran said the challenges facing working parents extend far beyond childcare and directly affect their career choices.

"As life gets busier, it is inevitable that even hard-working and ambitious professionals will enter periods of their working life where they are less readily available for travel or evening time engagements.

"As a society approaching full employment, it's important that employers facilitate employees throughout their various life stages and it is encouraging to see that the majority of employers are succeeding in doing so," she added.

Irish Independent

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