The rate of mothers returning to work after giving birth is steadily increasing worldwide. Many big corporations are recognizing the value in providing benefits and assistance which allow parents, especially a working mom who has traditionally been the carer of children, to be financially independent as their families grow. Japan has taken on the challenge of its aging population by incentivizing businesses to offer better paid leave so that more women can enter the workforce.
The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals launched in 2015 specifically addressed the need to empower women financially in order to reach its goal of eradicating global poverty by 2030. So it seems there is more knowledge of the importance of parental support an encouraging women to stay in the workforce after having children.
But despite the growth in working moms, unfortunately many still find it difficult. Many industries don’t offer women the flexibility they need to work while raising their children. These careers offer you great options if you do choose to return to work. The United States is the only developed country in the world not to offer any federally-mandated form of paid parental leave, forcing many women to eventually choose between careers and children, depending on their family situation and place of employment. It shouldn’t have to be this way.
There are a number of industries where women and mothers are thriving, mostly because of the environment that has become a way for them to re-enter the workforce after giving birth. With the digital world opening up entrepreneurial opportunities like never before, we are seeing an explosion of female-driven and led businesses being created. Forbes tells us that women are actually leading the way on small businesses and solo entrepreneurship endeavors, and much of it stems from the need to be innovative and creative with balancing family life.
While you may not choose to start your own business, if you are looking to re-enter the workforce after taking time out for your family, the following are some suggestions and great places to begin.
Working in healthcare might require further study, but once completed there will be many career options available. A nurse practitioner doctorate degree would enable you to pursue a career in research, teaching, nurse management and administration, or as a practicing nurse. Several options within healthcare are great for women with families. Nurse managers are often able to work part time, while those working in small healthcare practices can often work shorter, or fewer days. Healthcare professions give women a lot of flexible options as well as great benefits for their families.
Marketing is becoming an incredibly popular career path for working women. It allows them to use their natural talents of creativity coupled with logical thinking, while meeting new people and helping them to solve problems. A huge benefit for women with families in marketing is that the enormous growth of digital marketing means they can often do a lot of their work from home.
Teaching has great hours and holidays. You’ll never have to work weekends, or for much of your children’s school holidays. However, more often than not teachers are working later, or taking work home, as pressures on them mount. Some schools do offer part time teaching, or support positions.
The internet allows people that would never have dreamed of starting up on their own, a chance to try. If you’ve got any skills or talents, sell them. Freelance writing is huge, as is design and photography. You can easily make a career out of these with some hard work and organization. But if you are just looking to make some extra cash, consider more relaxed options, like setting up your own blog, or selling your photographs to stock photo websites.
Another online option. With more people setting up their own businesses, and putting a lot of time into making them a success, they are employing virtual assistants to help. This role includes digital marketing, such as writing blog posts and posting on social media. As well as organizing future posts and meetings. It can be done entirely from home.
There is a lot of debate over whether women “can have it all”. The answer may differ depending on whether you are talking to Sheryl Sandberg, Oprah Winfrey or Martha Stewart. But what is more important is deciding what is right for you, and how to define YOUR “all”. A recent Harvard University study found that working mothers have a great impact on their children. They see young men who are more likely to take on household chores, and young girls who grow up to earn more because of the example set by their moms.
There are definitely challenges to consider, and legislatively we need to see positive changes that can support the growing number of working mothers. With more and more opportunities to support working parents in furthering education and getting back into the workforce, there has never been a better time to consider what options might best suit you.