Recent findings from the Irish Census 2011 indicate that more women are re-entering the workforce and female participation is up to almost 55% from 35% in 1991. Matt Cooper asks whether this is a positive thing in today’s economy.
The reality of this discussion boils down to what motivates women to return to employment following childbirth. According to Patricia Casey of the Iona institute; if women are looking for fulfilment or career progression, great! If however, they are being forced to return to work for financial reasons, this may have a negative effect on family life.
Are mothers treated differently?
Lisa Holt, Managing director of Careers Register (A leading Accounting, Finance and Legal Recruitment agency) indicates that businesses are eager to bring in experienced talent and are looking to become more flexible and attractive for people with the required skill sets. But are working mothers taken advantage of with lower salaries? Are they missing out on opportunity when they take career breaks?
According to Lisa, from her personal experience as both a full time working mother and someone who is highly involved in the recruitment industry; this is not the case. Yes there is a element of risk when you take a break to have a child that you might miss out on opportunity but employers are paying the right salary for the right experience regardless. Women coming back into the workforce may lack recent experience but are practical about this and prepared to take a drop in salary, for the right role if they are afforded greater flexibility to accommodate their circumstances at home.
Lisa points out it is not easy for Mum’s to leave their family but needs must and she makes it a very positive decision in her life. Each family is different though and this needs to be assessed on the basis of both financial and personal priorities.
To listen to the interview from Today FM, simply click the link below.