A new report by www.leadersplus.org suggests that working carers are being excluded from promotion because of their caring responsibilities.
Out of the nearly 1,000 parents and carers surveyed, 60% said they felt unable to progress in their careers because of their responsibilities at home. The figure was significantly higher for mums than dads with 67% of mothers feeling stuck at a certain level vs 43% of men.
The figure is astounding and demonstrates that more support needs to be given to help working carers excel in their carers.
Of the 60% who felt unable to progress in their careers, 85% of the respondents believed the workload of a more senior role would be unfeasible alongside their caring responsibilities and decided to not apply for this reason. One respondent noted:
“Most senior roles I looked at (or same level) were roles where you had to be on site and be there until the job was done with you for the day. I was advised recently by two recruiters that the job was not for the faint hearted. I interpreted that as it was going to be really busy and not possible to work 8-4 or 9-5 but that work would rule the hours you worked and that it would be an expectation.”
A culture of presenteeism and over-work is seen as impossible for working parents to succeed as parents see other candidates putting in ‘extra time and capacity’ to gain an advantage, which they are not in a position to do.
“I cannot put in the same office and facetime as my single male colleagues.” Noted another respondent.
Childcare costs were also another big factor.
Verena Hefti MBE founder of Leaders Plus believes that managers need to do more to encourage carers to apply for promotion:
“Our research shows that a majority of working parents want to progress their careers and actively seek out employers where they can picture themselves in a more senior role without sacrificing the bond with their children. Too often, they don’t see how they can progress at their current employer.”
“Employers must recognise this and provide targeted support to this group of employees who are underrepresented in senior leadership. Failing to do this will harm the female talent pipeline and make closing the gender pay gap near impossible,” She concludes.
With over half of the UK workforce being made up of carers (ONS), managers need to think of more flexible ways to engage parents and carers on the topic of promotion, and make it more accessible for talented team members