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📣 Fixing the career progression gap

A special edition of The Know

Read in 5m 24s ∙ A special, one-off edition

Surprised to see us again so soon?! We’re sliding back into your inbox this afternoon to spotlight a topic very close to my heart: the reality of being a working parent. I realise this topic won’t resonate with everyone, but if it’s not for you, feel free to share this newsletter with friends or colleagues who might find it useful. 

Returning to work after having a baby is tough. I thought I’d known this before having my son, Phoenix, thanks to countless late-night chats with first-time-parent friends. But even this didn’t prepare me for how tricky I found managing conflicting emotions and priorities upon returning to the office.

This transition can be made all the more difficult if you’re not getting the support you need from your employer - and that’s where the social enterprise Leaders Plus comes in. In this special edition, we’re spotlighting some of the amazing resources out there to help those juggling a career with kids.

We’ll be back in your inboxes as usual tomorrow morning!

Love, Lynn x

The year the UK’s gender pay gap will close at the current rate of change.
Fawcett Society 2022

The percentage of people who believe a woman is less committed at work after having a child.
Fawcett Society 2022

The proportion of mums who think that having children has “definitely” negatively impacted their career progression chances.
Leaders Plus 2023

One in four
The proportion of working parents who have left a job due to caring responsibilities.
Big Parent Career Choices Survey 2023

Eye-opening stats like these ☝️ spurred on Verena Hefti MBE to set up her award-winning social enterprise, Leaders Plus. They’re all about supporting parents to progress in their careers against the odds - and one way they do this is through their Fellowship Programmes.

Employer-funded, self-funded and hardship fund places are available, and the deadline to apply is 20 March 2024.

💼 The parent career progression gap

Half of mums think that having children has “definitely” negatively impacted their career progression chances compared with 30% of dads, a Leaders Plus survey has found.  

The survey of almost 1,000 parents found that when people take time out to care for their children, their career progression tends to stall. More than half (60%) of parents said they had decided against applying for a promotion due to caring responsibilities, including 67% of mums.

👉 Read the full story here 👈

📰 Read: This lovely article from The Guardian’s Nell Frizzell on how, as a freelancer, she struggled to separate her work from her duties as a parent - until she realised that the two could exist side-by-side. It’s a couple of years old now, but well worth a read.

📓 Check out: This nifty workbook to help you set boundaries at work, which is packed with tips from professionals who have managed to do just that. 

📚 Also read: How to emotionally prepare to go back to work after parental leave, according to The Bump. Don’t let the piece’s focus on US parental leave policies put you off - it’s full of helpful advice about overcoming feelings of guilt and finding time to get everything done.

🎧 Listen to: Big Careers, Small Children. In this podcast, senior leaders share what they have learned from juggling high-powered careers with parental duties. Expect honest conversations, practical support and plenty of “aha” moments!

👀 Do: Check out the Leaders Plus Fellowship Programme, which provides practical support, world-class training and a community of like-minded peers. Alternatively, share it with colleagues and friends who might be interested!

Last month, we asked our daily readers about their experiences of returning to work after having a baby. A huge thanks to those of you who got in touch to share how that was for you.

“I’m qualified, experienced and competent enough to fulfil my role in less than five days a week, but the amount of businesses that insist on full-time employment is essential is pretty wild,” wrote one reader.

It was really interesting to read your varied responses and it was a strong reminder of just how important flexibility is in the workplace - not just for working parents, but for the majority of employees.

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