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Best Life: Biggest concerns for working moms

Published: May. 16, 2022 at 6:53 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, women’s participation in the labor market is the lowest it’s been in 30 years and since the COVID-19 pandemic, working moms are particularly vulnerable to leaving their jobs.

Women have come a long way but research shows the struggle is still real for many working moms.

“All of the problems that previously existed before the COVID19 pandemic just got exacerbated,” said Matthew Ng, UCF Doctoral Student Industrial-Organizational Psychologist.

Fifty-three percent are getting less than six hours of sleep a night and 23% report no time for self-care. Forty-eight percent of moms surveyed said childcare challenges and personal mental health concerns prompted them to leave their jobs or switch to part-time.

But there are ways employers can stop them from leaving.

First, partners need to step up. One study found that 70% of full-time working women do all or most of the caregiving.

Also, better maternity pay legislation could help now moms stay in the workplace.

The Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 does entitle women to up to 12 weeks of unpaid job-protected maternity leave, but about 40% of U.S. workers aren’t even eligible for the benefit.

Moms also cite flexible schedules, remote work options and paid time off as factors that employers could implement to make their roles easier, so they can stay on track.

Studies show the challenges that working moms face are even more pronounced among low-income women and those of color. According to the Center for American Progress, if moms don’t come back into the workforce, it will cost the U.S. $64.5 billion.

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