Baby bad for women’s careers, says study

Summary

Having children has a negative effect on the careers of women, according to research released last week from the Free University of Brussels (VUB). Sociology doctor Ilse Laurijssen followed the career paths of more than 800 Flemish women over the course of six years and found that “with the birth of a child, women experience more stress during working hours because they have more functions to occupy them…. Those who had a demanding job prior to having children have to step on the brakes.”

© Shutterstock
 
© Shutterstock

Having children has a negative effect on the careers of women, according to research released last week from the Free University of Brussels (VUB). Sociology doctor Ilse Laurijssen followed the career paths of more than 800 Flemish women over the course of six years and found that “with the birth of a child, women experience more stress during working hours because they have more functions to occupy them…. Those who had a demanding job prior to having children have to step on the brakes.”

Many of those women move to part-time work or have the decision to move to a less challenging position made for them. “The employer may assume that women with small children have other things than business on their minds. The boss doesn’t want to load them down with extra duties, and so the work becomes less challenging.”

And part-time work is not a solution to all problems. “Women all have to work full time in order to be sure of a pension,” Laurijssen said. “But it seems that the burden on women who want to work full time is just too high. The level of stress in the workplace is the biggest motivator for whether women make the switch.”

Baby bad for women’s careers, says study

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