• Written by Flexcareers

New Study Reveals Discrimination Against Working Mothers

More than half of all working women in Australia say they have been discriminated against purely because they are a mother, according to new research conducted by FlexCareers.


The research reveals that workplace discrimination is rife in today’s businesses and is creating an often untold burden for women at a time of their lives when they should be celebrating motherhood, rather than battling for their rights to either work, or take time off to settle into this phase of their life.


More than 400 research respondents opened up about the issues they face trying to juggle motherhood and work. The online survey was conducted in December by the platform that links females with progressive employers offering flexible work,


Working mothers revealed hundreds of stories of discrimination in the survey, including being overlooked for promotion, being made redundant, having a maternity leave fill-in placed permanently in their position and losing career opportunities which were already in the pipeline.


“I don’t get given the interesting work because full time employees ‘need it more,’ which means I can’t progress my career because I don’t have quality experience. It’s a vicious cycle,” one respondent to the research revealed.


“One company wouldn’t give me a permanent contract because I worked part-time, even though my team leader advised them he’d rather have me working four days than a less efficient person working five,” another working mother said.


The research also found that almost half of all the working mothers surveyed said that a flexible work arrangement is the most important factor in their career choice, followed by remuneration and a passion for the work.


“The top reason talented mothers aren’t working is because they cannot find the flexibility they need to make life, motherhood and a career actually work. Sadly only 11% of those currently working said they had the ideal flexible work arrangement. This presents a huge opportunity for Australian businesses to embrace flexibility, to attract and keep talented working mothers,” says FlexCareers CEO Nikki Hobin.


“However, these need to be offers of genuine flexibility, not the perception of it. Genuine flexibility requires understanding, not judgment. Employees that benefit from flexible working environments can be made to feel that they always have to justify themselves, or pay back for the ‘privilege’ of having a flexible work arrangement in other ways. This needs to change.


“Employers who successfully create a culture of flexible work and focus on training leaders to manage diverse teams, will be the winners at the end of the day”.


“Women told us they want employers to introduce flexibility for both incumbents and new hires and clearly communicate what flexibility means for each role. This may be as simple as saying that you’re willing to consider reasonable requests for flexibility from outstanding candidates,” Hobin explains.


She also encourages working women to openly discuss flexibility with their employer and explain what that would actually look like for them, and propose a trial period to test if it works for both employer and employee.



FlexCareers has engineered game-changing technology to connect talented individuals with progressive employers offering flexible work. Our initial focus is the underutilised talent pool of 2.1 million career mums to enable Australia's workforce and deliver gender diversity in scale. FlexCareers is a growing community of talented women successfully adding value at work and at home.

The Viw Magazine

Sick and Tired of Your Dead End Job? Try Teaching!

Tired of the same old grind at the office? Want an opportunity to impact lives both in your community and around the world? Do you love to travel and have new experiences? Teaching English is the perf...

News Company - avatar News Company


4 Perfect Locations for your Destination Wedding in France

France is probably one of the few locations in the world that we synonymise with love so what bett...

Questions to ask yourself before buying your watch

There are more and more watches on the market. And more and more brands are trying to seduce consu...

How to Thoroughly Prepare Children for a Professional Photoshoot at a Studio

Children are only young for a moment, which is why, for a lot of parents, it's essential to take a...

What to Expect at the University of Florida Tour

The University of Florida is a dream college for most aspiring students. Not only because of its p...