Older women are much more likely than average to have changed profession after having children and to have retrained in the last five years, according to workingmums.co.uk’s annual survey.
The survey of 1,600 working parents, the vast majority of whom are women, shows 48% of women over 50 have changed profession after having children. This is compared to 29% of women of all ages. Nevertheless, 47% of women of all ages are thinking about doing so while only 22% of older women are, which suggests that older women are just further forward in the journey.
Older women are also a lot more likely to have retrained in the last five years – 41% have compared to 26% generally. And they are more likely to have started their own business – 19% compared to 9% generally, but the same numbers from all ages are considering it [50%], often to get the flexibility they need around family responsibilities.
While similar high numbers of women of all ages have not progressed their careers after having children [around three quarters], the partners of older women are more likely to have progressed. Some 43% of partners generally have not progressed, compared to 31% of partners of older women. Moreover, their partners are less likely to work flexibly at least occasionally – 35% do, compared to 43% for all women.
Other interesting comparisons show:
– older women are more likely to say they have experienced sexual harassment at work – 30% compared to 20%
– they are more likely to think they are paid less than men doing similar jobs – 53% compared to 39% of women generally
– they are more likely to have turned down a job because it is not flexible enough – 64% compared to 52% generally
– they are more likely to work from home – 16% do compared to 9% generally [the survey was conducted mainly before the lockdown]
– and they were more likely to say they were not sympathetic to working parents before they became one – 45% said this compared to 28% generally.