New Study: Impact of Family Friendly Employers

family friendly employers

Earlier this fall, a popular sitcom went for laughs with a character trying to protect a big project by hiding her baby bump from the boss.

But a new study shows that actual working parents aren't finding their real-life situations so funny.

Working Parents Feeling the Sting on Careers

Family friendly employers may be a national discussion, but results from the 2016 Modern Family Index show that working parents are still feeling the sting of children on careers; so much so that the job has become the surprising third partner in family planning. More than two thirds of expectant mothers said worries about career led them to factor the job into the timing of a baby. Just as important, many working parents said their worst fears were realized when they returned from leave:

  • 1 in 5 new parents felt they were at greater risk of being fired
  • 1 in 5 were passed over for a new opportunity
  • 1 in 4 experienced judgment from supervisors or coworkers

A Gap Between Workforces and the Boss

The new study shows a striking gap between workforces and the boss. Today's generation of parents is determined to build families without postponing or abandoning career ambitions. But they're finding themselves facing unfriendly and unsupportive environments at work.

And it's not just working mothers at risk. Working fathers are also feeling the stigma. More than a third said they felt judged by coworkers after a new baby, and nearly 70% saying that fatherhood will likely prompt a job change. What's at risk is the knowledge base of employees in both critical career phases and key organizational roles.

2016 Modern Family Index - working parents

"The Modern Family Index data shows that new and expectant parents want to work for family friendly employers that will allow them to excel as both professionals and parents," says Bright Horizons CEO Dave Lissy. Roughly half of new parents surveyed said they'd even taken a new job for less money, but more family friendliness. That's no laughing matter when you consider that women are waiting longer and longer to have children, and fathers are eager to be equal partners in parenting. For employers, it's a cautionary tale...and an opportunity.

"Employers that are already committed to supporting their employees as whole people," says Dave, "will come out on top."

Read the full report, here.

Written by: Bright Horizons Blog Editor

About the Author

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The Bright Horizons Blog Editor frequently posts on the real solutions that meaningfully support employees, advance careers, and drive the world’s leading brands. The Editor curates the latest news, trends, and challenges facing HR pros because your time is scarce. Follow the Bright Horizons Blog to receive this insight in your inbox.