CareerMum recently hosted a co-design workshop, focused on designing a better career landscape for women after taking time out to start a family.
Led by Jade Tang-Taylor, the workshop built on the findings of the CareerMum survey, and the 100 Mums Project, to flesh out some of the key challenges and barriers faced by women looking to resume and grow their career after taking time out to start a family – and importantly, to start co-creating solutions to these challenges.
The high energy session, attended by fifteen career-minded mums (and six bubs) generated over 70 ideas.
Here is a snapshot of some of the key insights:
1. No two stories are the same. In fact, the assumption that experiences are uniform, is one of the biggest challenges. The workshop challenged us to step into different perspectives, and to understand the varying perspectives, experiences and needs of women.
2. The challenges faced by women looking to resume and grow their career are very real. Mindsets and habits offer the biggest barrier to progress.
3. The perception of a Dad’s role as a parent is very different to the perception of a Mum’s role, and contributes significantly to the barriers faced by women as they look to resume and grow their career.
4. Despite the varied challenges identified, and the ideas generated, potential solutions can be distilled into three broad categories of support – professional, personal, and infrastructure. All three are key to enabling progress in how we support women to resume and grow their career after taking time out to start a family.
5. Better support for returning women is crucial to achieving a sustainable increase in the number of women progressing to senior roles, and to enabling our economy to truly capitalise on the benefits of gender equality.
6. Not all solutions are complex. Much progress can be made by making practical adjustments to the way we structure our work. Taking a closer look at flexible work arrangements and job sharing opportunities provide one such example.
The takeouts are contributing to the development of a solution model to be prototyped by women and businesses.
CareerMum is a social enterprise focused on driving positive solutions to workplace challenges faced by career mums.