While most working mothers felt that having children had a negative effect on their career, a vast majority of companies approved of their performance in the workplace, a survey by the Chinese-language magazine Parenting (親子天下) released on Tuesday showed.
The poll surveyed the heads of human resources departments at 2,000 companies and more than 6,000 mothers who are either housewives, working moms or on parental leave.
The poll found that 54 percent of mothers said that having children had held them back at work, while 87 percent of companies praised working moms as steady performers.
Photo courtesy of the Taipei Zoo
In addition, 66 percent of companies polled said mothers are better team workers, and 64 percent said mothers care about their position and salary.
About 95 percent of companies said they would approve mothers’ requests for leave, as they believe that mothers would perform better if they were allowed to take better care of their families, the survey found.
Meanwhile, 97 percent of employers are in favor of mothers taking parental leave, while nearly 60 percent of companies said that they would have trouble coping with staff shortages if parental leave lasted more than a year, it showed.
Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times
More than 50 percent of companies said that parental leave often lasts more than six months, while 75 percent of companies said that they do not have workers to fill in for employees on parental leave, it showed.
More than 90 percent of companies also said that they welcomed fathers taking parental leave, but would be inclined to demote them or reduce their salary if they did so.
Nearly 80 percent of companies said they would likely not postpone promotions for mothers or delay giving them raises, while more than 80 percent said they would prefer that parents not take their children to the workplace.
Overall, companies are willing to abide by the law governing parental and maternity leave, but few are willing to go the extra mile to introduce more creative and flexible solutions, the survey found.
The magazine suggested three actions to support mothers.
First, mothers should be able to balance the time and energy spent on taking care of their families and themselves.
Second, the division of labor between mothers and fathers regarding chores and children’s upbringing should be decided through discussions instead of the salaries they earn.
Third, employers should be committed to introducing flexible work conditions for mothers.
By granting parents leeway in their work hours, they would be able to adjust their hours to better match children’s school hours, the magazine said.
This way, parents could go to work without worries and become more focused, it said.
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