New moms these days are returning to work more quickly than in generations past. But still, a fair percentage of women aren't returning to their pre-birth employers after having their first child.
A little less than half of working moms return to their jobs within the first three months of giving birth, and more than a third don't return within the first year, according to a Census Bureau report. Another 20-or-so percent of women quit their jobs around the birth of a child.
So, why are new moms opting out of the workforce? We polled our Care.com members to find the top reasons new moms leave their jobs.
Spoiler Alert: It's not all about wanting to spend more time with their families.
The real reasons include:
- Cost of child care
- Desire to spend more time with family
- Lack of workplace flexibility
- Concerns about quality of child care
- Benefits aren't up to par
The good news is: Companies concerned about recruiting and retention of top female talent can take steps toward resoving these issues, making it easier for new moms to return to work.
“Whether to be a good parent or a good employee shouldn’t be a decision employees have to make,” says Lisa Horn, director of congressional affairs for the Society of Human Resources Management. “They should be able to do both -- and they can. I think employers generally want to do all they can to support employees so they ultimately return to work.”
Learn more about why new moms are opting out of the workforce and how employers can improve their chances of retaining female talent by downloading our free ebook on Supporting New Parents at Work.