Here’s some encouraging news for working mothers anxious about the future and the chances of their children being successful. Women whose mothers were employed outside the home are more likely to hold jobs themselves, to have managerial responsibilities at work and earn higher wages than women whose mums stayed at home full-time during their childhood, according to a Harvard Business School study.
Similarly, men brought up by working mothers are more likely to contribute to household duties and spend more time caring for family members.
The findings also revealed that it didn’t matter whether mothers worked for temporary shifts a few months one year, or fifty hours per week through the whole childhood.
Rather, differences occurred when children had a role model who demonstrated that women are more than able to balance working both inside and outside the home. So, even working a few hours a week could increase the chances of your child becoming successful once they reach adulthood, enter the labour force and possibly become parents themselves.
Another study carried out on children in Denmark, found that children with mothers who worked 10 to 19 hours a week (similar to holding a temporary position or part-time job) during the first four years of their child’s life, had grades that were 2.6% higher, relative to children whose mothers stayed at home. And, in the long term, the children with working mothers grew up to do better. Having a hard-working, female role model to look up to far outweighed the fact that mothers had to spend a little bit less time with their children when they were young.
Increasingly, employers are catering to the trend of more mothers wanting to remain in or rejoin the workforce. The Internet is filled with specialised recruitment agencies, job boards, websites and even a platform such as Flexy, with flexible, temporary and part-time positions that could be attractive to many mothers wanting to work outside the home whilst their children are growing up.
Although society, as a whole, has come a lot closer to achieving gender equality, there still exists a great amount of pressure and parental guilt over both parents working outside the home. However, the Harvard Business School’s research proved that not only do working mothers help their families economically, they also help themselves emotionally and professionally as well as setting an example for their children by showing that contributions at work and at home are of equal value, for both fathers and mothers.
Nobel, C. Kids Benefit From Having a Working Mom. Working Knowledge, Harvard Business School, 2015. [Online].
Available at: http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/kids-benefit-from-having-a-working-mom
Cain Miller, Claire. Mounting Evidence of Advantages for Children of Working Mothers. New York Times, 2015. [Online].
Nisen, M. New Study Destroys The Myth That Women ‘Can’t Have It All’. Business Insider UK, 2013. [Online].