Are you a mother debating whether returning to work after the birth of your child is the right option for you? If so, what’s holding you back?

We’re living in an age where people are the focus of the conversation. So, why do so many women still have to juggle so many responsibilities? Businesses have the social responsibility to create balance, and the power to make change, so, why hasn’t it happened yet? This International Women’s Day, the theme is #InspireInclusion, So, here at EWiF, we want every mother, woman, employee, businesswomen and boss babe to feel like she has a place in the career landscape.

Careers after babies is a detailed report highlighting the inaccuracies in the workplace as a woman chooses to go back to work after giving birth. Did you know mothers are now becoming mentally and physically ill trying to fit back into the outdated model of the 9-5 after having a child? 98% of mothers want to work, in fact, 52% want to work 4 days or more. But when we factor in the shattering costs of childcare, full-time costs at a staggering estimated 44% of the average salary, it’s a surprise anyone can afford to work.[1]

No wonder stress and burnout cost the economy an estimated £35bn p/a.[2] Mothers feel there’s a lack of support, and their workload only increases. ‘Role protection’ appears to be a myth, as redundancies are common-practice. Women are forced to take lesser roles to accommodate to the needs of their families. Is this fair? Absolutely not.

So, how do women do it?

74% of women are earning less or the same as before they had children – often because they’ve had to reduce their hours, or change their role to accommodate changing priorities. Given the choice, 86% of women asked in the report would choose to work 3 days a week or more. However, 14% chose to become freelancers, because it offered the most flexibility, but they’re earning less than they did before having children.[3]

Why should women have to take a pay cut to manage the needs of her family and work commitments?


As women decide to start a family, their representation at every successive level of leadership declines in

the UK:

  • Women account for only 30% of managerial roles, which declines further at more senior levels.
  • Women account for only 26% of executives on Exco (FTSE350), and only 4% of CEOs.

It’s taking more than 10 years for mothers’ careers to recover back to the same level of seniority or higher after she’s had children..[4] So, in order to have a family and a career, women are making more sacrifices, compared to fathers, and have to be prepared to start their career over.

What can we do to change this narrative?

Here at EWiF, we are advocates for the franchise model. When you are feeling overwhelmed, we are here to help. As a supermum, we can give you the support and guidance needed to return to work and feel a complete sense of achievement. Some of the women we feature have told us:

“Business can sometimes be a ruthless and lonely world, so having a strong support network around me was what I needed. This is one of the things I value about EWIF. We are a group of people who really understand and support each other. It’s up to us to feel safe enough, as women in franchising, to remove the façade and say, ‘I’m struggling with this’.” – Anne-Marie Martin, diddi dance

“I was being booked all over the country, especially for school-based events. I started looking at how to scale the business up. My choices were to subcontract to others or, ‘franchising’ kept coming up. But other than knowing McDonalds was a franchise, I had no clue about it!” – Jenny Williams, The Detective Project

“I don’t know if it’s natural or society has imposed it on us, but there isn’t fair distribution for the sexes when it comes to balancing business and family. But, I’ve invested money and time in to my business, and I want to give it the effort it needs. I really want to make an impact!”- Leila Baker, Babies in Waiting

Franchising can give you the independence and flexibility as a working mother you are looking for.

What exactly do we want?

Mothers want… what franchising can offer…

  • Flexible working across the organisation with the tools and technology that enable it to be a success.
  • Genuinely protecting mothers’ roles, allowing them to return to their original role after maternity leave
  • Reducing workload in line with reduced hours
  • Supporting job sharing, especially at management level where there is most loss of women
  • Investing in career development for mothers
  • Meaningfully focusing on well-being, reducing stress and prioritising mental health support
  • Supporting childcare costs and schemes
  • Building a flexible culture, taking into account things like language used around part-time employees
  • Having accessible policies that can be tailored to individual needs
  • Working with experts to get policies and practices right and fair
  • Educating and coaching line managers ahead of highly sensitive conversations
  • Encouraging shared parental leave
  • Discuss ways parents can continue their professional development while managing family responsibilities.

So, it really is time to have that conversation. As International Women’s Day looms, do it today. Gender equality doesn’t just help women, it helps businesses too. Greater innovation, decision-making and financial performance have been shown to result from more gender diverse teams. Franchising is proven to promote diverse and inclusive organisations along with the added benefit of lower staff turnover and a workforce who are more motivated and engaged, therefore better able to fulfil their full potential. When you invest in a franchise, you are investing in yourself and EWiF can give you the tools to become a modern, ground-breaking leader.

So, if you are a mother desperately trying to navigate your way through the business landscape and fed up of juggling it all, EWiF could be your answer to finding a better way. Read the full report and then see how EWiF can help give you advice on a new career option. Let’s be the change we want to see!