The latest statistics about hiring a stay at home mom returning to work is dismal. During the hiring process, only 4.9 percent of the stay-at-home mothers received a call-back – three times fewer than currently employed moms. (Working Mother) The struggle is real and us working moms are fighting against an 95% rejection rate. Yikes!
My personal opinion is that working moms are dedicated and responsible employees with a focus on getting things done. So this made me wonder why companies and hiring managers hesitate to hire working moms.
Is it because they think we are distracted by our kids all day long? I will admit the thoughts about my children go through my head often at work. However, thoughts about work go through my head at home and that doesn’t make me less than a parent. Usually, my thoughts are along the lines of, “I want to get this done so I don’t have to think about it when I’m with my kids.” I can bet your employees who don’t have kids are also thinking about something outside of work- the ball game, a new date, what to pick up for dinner, etc. – this doesn’t make them any less of an employee either.
Is it because there is something OBVIOUS that will always take precedence over work? There are plenty of people I have worked with who are passionate about their pet, their significant other, their hidden sport, or even just making their own home brew. Yes, some of these are not quite at the level of a child’s need but the person is still passionate about it. That doesn’t make them less of an employee. The difference is that you may not know what that is.
Is it because working moms will be less likely to come in early and stay late, especially with very little advance notice? As an employer, I would hope you don’t do this often to any of your employees, but it is correct that a working mom is less likely to do that. However, as a working mom, I’m less likely to need to come in early or stay late because I have organized my tasks and schedule in a way that I can get it done and usually before it’s even due.
Is it because they have not worked outside the home in 2, 5, 8 years? Maybe you think they lost their knowledge and skill during that time? Have you ever worked in one job (sales) for many years, then switch to marketing for 5 years, only to go back to sales? Did you lose all your knowledge during that time? What you did ‘lose,’ were you able to catch up on very quickly? I will admit that I wasn’t up on the latest it tech when I returned to work, but it didn’t take long to catch up. Much less time, I would bet, than some people who still don’t use their work email.
Since I am living the life of a working mom with children still at home, I know how I set up my work and life commitments in order to accomplish it all. My choice to go back to work meant that I had to set up systems in my life to do 2+ full time jobs. I accomplish more things in less time because I have set priorities and created systems to do so. This sounds like a highly qualified employee to have.
The reality is that there are still moms who stay at home to take care of their children, even if only for 3-5 years. In fact, this rate is actually increasing! It’s time to tackle the myth of working moms and moms who are returning to work outside the home.