A resounding 78% of working moms and 83% of working dads say yes, according to CareerBuilder’s Annual Mother’s Day Survey. The definition of success, however, differs by gender.
The survey, conducted on behalf of CareerBuilder by Harris Poll between February 11 and March 6, 2015, explores what it means to be both a full-time parent and a full-time employee in today’s economy – and how experiences differ between men and women. It also explores perceptions of employers, showing you can gain valuable experience for the workplace just from being a parent.
Participants in the study include more than 2,000 employers and 464 working mothers and 340 working fathers with children 18 years old and younger who are living at home with them.
The number of working parents who are the sole breadwinners in their households is climbing, and the gap between men and women is closing. Thirty-nine percent of working moms and 43 percent of working dads reported they are the sole financial providers in their homes, up from 31 percent and 37 percent, respectively, in 2014.
Working dads were significantly more likely to report they currently earn their desired salaries – 28 percent compared to 17 percent of working moms.
While the vast majority of working moms feel they can have it all, only half (52 percent) said they are equally successful in their jobs and as parents. Roughly one third (34 percent) of working moms report they’re more successful as a parent, compared to 32 percent of men. Working dads were more likely to say they are more successful in their careers than as parents – 19 percent compared to 15 percent of women.
The Definition of Success
When identifying factors that define success in their careers, working moms were more likely to point to how much money they earn – 53 percent compared to 45 percent of men. However, a six-figure salary isn’t necessarily at the top of the list for working moms. Only 17 percent of working moms said they need to earn six figures in order to feel successful, compared to 39 percent of men.
Four out of five working moms (82 percent) and working dads (80 percent) say the top factor defining success for them is the ability to provide for their families. However, working moms were more likely to stress the importance of enjoying the work they do (77 percent compared to 60 percent of working dads). Working dads were more likely to say they define success by whether their family is proud of what they do (42 percent compared to 35 percent of working moms).
On average, working moms report spending more time with their children each day than working dads; however, they are also more likely to report work has negatively affected their parenting.
During the typical workweek, half of working moms (57 percent) spend four or more hours with their children every day, and 35 percent of working dads do the same. Only 6 percent of working moms say they spend an hour or less with their children each day, compared to 13 percent of working dads who do the same.
Despite spending more quality time with their children, working moms are nearly twice as likely as working dads to say their job has negatively affected their relationships with their children – 25 percent of working moms versus 13 percent of working dads.
Women are also more likely than men to say being a parent has caused their professional work to suffer – 17 percent of working moms versus 9 percent of working dads.
Three Ways to Gain More Flexibility at Work (And Make More Time for Family)
“Employers are increasingly open to providing flexible work arrangements to employees so long as they can maintain a high level of productivity,” says Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer of CareerBuilder and working mom. Haefner suggests approaching your manager to see if any of the following options work for you.
- Flexible work hours: More companies are moving away from traditional schedules to help employees achieve a better work/life balance. Ask your boss if you can come in later or leave earlier on certain days, enabling you to get your kids to school or daycare, run errands during less hectic times or take care of other priorities.
- Work remotely: Some companies may provide the option to work from home or a remote office, helping you spend less time (and money) commuting and more flexibility with how you choose to spend that saved time.
- Compressed hours: Instead of working five eight-hour days, see if it’s possible to work four 10-hour days, giving you one extra day during the week to take care of personal errands or appointments – or simply relax.
Is Being a Parent Résumé Material?
Parents new to the workforce or looking to jump back in may find raising children has equipped them with a marketable set of skills. Sixty-nine percent of employers believe the skills acquired by being a parent can qualify as relevant experience in the corporate world. The experience parents gain that employers find most valuable are:
- Patience – 67 percent
- Ability to multi-task – 62 percent
- Time management – 59 percent
- Conflict management – 51 percent
- Problem-solving – 51 percent
- Empathy – 43 percent
- Mentoring – 40 percent
- Negotiation – 37 percent
- Budgeting and managing finances – 36 percent
- Project management – 30 percent
Nearly 1 in 10 working moms (8 percent) have included their parenting skills in their resume or cover letter.
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder among 2,138 hiring managers and human resource professionals, 464 working moms and 340 working dads of kids 18 and under living in their household (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government) between February 11 and March 6, 2015 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). With pure probability samples of 2,138, 464 and 340, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/-2.12, +/- 4.55 and +/- 5.31 percentage points, respectively. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.