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A recent report by Social Enterprise Leaders Plus sheds light on the challenges parents face in advancing their careers.

Despite harbouring a strong desire to ascend to senior roles and recognising the valuable skills gained through parenting, such as enhanced productivity, many parents feel that career progression remains elusive.

The findings, outlined in the “Career Progression Gaps: The Next Frontier Report,” are based on responses from nearly 900 parents who participated in the 2023 Big Parent Career Choices Survey. The report reveals that while 61% of parents aspire to advance their careers in the next two years, half of mothers believe that their parental responsibilities are impeding their professional growth.

This Progression Gap disproportionately impacts women, and we know from other research bodies that women from minoritised backgrounds will face additional barriers to progression.

We know that 4 in 5 women have children by the time they are 45 (ONS 22), yet 50% of the women we surveyed said that they think having children holds back their career progression.

In light of these findings, the report puts forth several recommendations urging employers to take proactive measures in supporting working parents and narrowing the Parent Progression Gap. These recommendations aim to address the perceived barriers and ensure that parents are provided with the necessary support to achieve their career goals.

Read the full report here