Nearly half (43%) of high-achieving women who have built successful careers leave their jobs for a period of time to raise their children. Women frequently don’t want to give up their careers completely, or permanently opt out of the workforce. Yet there is not a standard or well-defined path to return to work. Depending on the field, resuming one’s old career can range from impossible to requiring ample effort and creativity. Of the professional women who temporarily opt out, 74% will rejoin the workforce in some capacity, with just 40% of them returning to full time jobs.
Many women who would love to spend more time with their children can’t afford to leave their full-time jobs since most families today need two incomes. Compounding this, meaningful part-time roles with good compensation are scarce, so finding a middle ground can seem especially daunting.
Women now obtain more masters degrees than men, and there is ample evidence that women excel as managers—demanding leadership roles that typically require a lot of “facetime” and don’t offer flexible work options. The departure of educated women from the workforce hurts women’s future career prospects and earning potential, limits their families financially, reduces talent in the workplace, and is an avoidable drain on the economy.
While women are disproportionally the ones who choose to put their careers on hold for their families, more and more we also see men choosing to be stay-at-home parents while their partners remain the principle breadwinners. Men are similarly penalized for taking time out of their careers to be with their children.
Solving this problem requires myriad solutions. We need systemic changes—our national policies—and workplace culture shifts where family-friendly practices are prioritized. We also need to support women and men pursuing ambitious careers while striving to be as available as possible to their children.
Epicycle addresses these challenges by supporting individuals as well as organizations. Through our coaching services, parents can explore roles with more flexibility, find more meaning in their work, or learn how to better negotiate for salary increases.
Our mastermind groups provide entrepreneurs with new skills to incorporate into their businesses, while learning alongside other parents who are facing similar challenges.
Within organizations, our parental-leave coaching helps expecting and new parents anticipate and plan for the challenges that will arise as they begin their families and continue demanding careers.
Our executive coaching and leadership-development services help parents to grow and contribute as professionals with heavy workloads, while still prioritizing time with their families.
With diverse solutions in place, parents can raise their families and maintain meaningful, challenging careers—benefitting everyone in the process.