Professional women take lesser jobs after children

Highly qualified women forced to take lower skilled roles after children

Millions of professional women are forced to take more menial jobs after they have children and want to return to work, a new study shows.

The research published today reveals how much highly qualified women slip down the career ladder in order to find jobs that permit them to spend time with their family.

Many female managers who are not offered flexible or part-time hours are having to settle for jobs beneath their skill base, if they want to return to work.

The report showed nearly half of female professionals who downgrade to a lower-skilled role work in jobs where the average employee does not have A-levels.

The study, published in the Economic Journal concluded: ‘At present the low quality of many part-time jobs means that women are paying the price of reconciling work and family.’

Dubbed the ‘hidden brain drain’ for professional women who become mothers, the report showed a third of female corporate managers slid down the career ladder after having children.

Nursing and teaching were found to be the best careers for supporting part-time roles, but even in these roles, almost one in 10 women quit to work in lower skill jobs.

Dr Mary Gregory, an economics lecturer at Oxford University said: ‘This is wasting the talents of Britain’s most highly qualified women.

‘I think we should start using the term ‘reduced hours’ rather than part-time which paints a picture of someone who is casual and uncommitted.’

Gregory added: ‘There should be more opportunities for women to continue their careers in this capacity once they start a family.

‘It happens in medicine in general practice so why shouldn’t it happen more in advertising and the legal profession?’

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