Financial constraints prevent 37 per cent from taking shared parental leave

Childcare cost

More than a third (37%) of respondents believe financial constraints will prevent them from taking shared parental leave where employers do not offer men the same level of enhanced paternity leave, according to research by the Executive Coaching Consultancy.

Its Women and the City report, which is based on a survey of 651 women between the ages of 21 and 35 working in the City, as well as qualitative focus groups, found that 63% of respondents are interested in taking shared parental leave.

The research also found:

  • 94% of respondents see barriers in taking shared parental leave.
  • More than half (53%) of respondents believe that fathers’ concerns/attitude and reaction from peers could prevent men from taking shared parental leave.
  • Around two-thirds (60%) of respondents believe that their colleagues will assume they are less serious about their career if they have a young child.
  • Just under half (46%) of respondents think that returning to work after having a child will result in fewer opportunities being offered to them.
  • 86% of respondents believe having children could be a hindrance to their career, while just 5% believe this is the case for fathers in the workplace.
  • More than a quarter (26%) think that if they remain in their current organisation it will take up too much of their life or they fail to see how it could work if they had children.

Geraldine Gallacher, managing director at the Executive Coaching Consultancy, said: “Organisations need to rethink their approach to retaining women.

“Rather than focusing on quotas, policy and senior leadership development initiatives, organisations need to look at the other end of the talent pipeline at those younger women they have recruited and see the problem through their eyes.

“It would appear from our research that young women have different expectations of their female role models. The need to demonstrate a balanced life came out as the top attribute for female role models.”