Knowledge Center

 

 

  • In 2011, the overall labor force participation rate of all mothers with children under 18 was 70.6%, compared to 93.5% of all fathers with children under 18. For married mothers with children under 18, the rate was 68.7%.1

 

 

  • The labor force participation rate of married mothers with children under 3 years old increased from 32.7% in 1975 to 60.3% in 2009.2

 

 

Mothers

  • According to the 2010 Benefits Survey from the Society for Human Resource Management:3
    • 17% of organizations offered paid maternity leave (other than what is covered by short-term disability)
    • 28% offer a lactation program or designated area.
  • In Fiscal Year 2011, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission received 5,797 charges of pregnancy-based discrimination. 4
  • The proportion of mothers with newborns in the workforce increased from 57% in 2006 to 61% in 2008.5
  • In 2008, 25% of mothers with newborns were in poverty (only 6% received public assistance).6
    • In 2008, 6% of mothers with newborns were looking for work.

Fathers

  • According to the 2010 Benefits Survey from the Society for Human Resource Management, 17% of organizations offered paid paternity leave.7
  • A Families and Work Institute survey found that the average maximum job-guaranteed leave for men following the birth of their child decreased from 13.1 weeks in 1998 to 12.6 weeks in 2008.8
  • A 2003 study found that men who took leave for birth or eldercare were rated more negatively than their male counterparts who did not take leave. The study also indicated that male evaluators were more judgmental of male leave-takers than were female evaluators.9

Family Responsibility Discrimination

  • Family Responsibility Discrimination, or FRD, is a form of sex discrimination against employees due to their family-caring responsibilities for children (including during pregnancy), elderly parents, or ill relatives. Despite good performance, employees who are victims of FRD might be:10
    • Passed over for a promotion or a position; 
    • Questioned about their intentions to have children; 
    • Victims of pay discrimination; 
    • Harassed; 
    • Fired; 
    • Experiencing a hostile work environment;
    • Failing to promote qualified employees with children in lieu of promotions to women without children or to fathers 
    • Or otherwise penalized or retaliated against. 11
  •  FRD cases have risen over 400% between 1995 and 2005. 12

Canada

  • In 2006, 69.6% of Canadian households consisted of increasingly diverse families, with fewer children living at home. 13
    • In 2006, Single-parent households were 24.6% of all households with children. 14

Working Mothers in Canada

  • The labor force participation rate for mothers has increased from 39.1% in 1976 to 72.9% in 2009. 15
    • The rate for working women with children under three has increased from 27.6% in 1976 to 64.4% in 2009.16
    • Single mothers are less likely to be employed than mothers living in a two-parent household. 17

Working Fathers in Canada

  • The percentage of fathers living in an intact family has dropped from 76.0% in 1995 to 74.3% in 2006. 18
    • Between 2001 and 2006 the number of common law unions increased more than five times the rate of married couples. 19
  • In 2006, 80% of fathers lived full time with their children. 20
  • The Parental Benefits Program allows 10 weeks of shared paid parental leave by qualifying parents. 21

Europe

 

2007 EUROPEAN UNION, HOUSEHOLD TYPE IN WHICH CHILDREN UNDER 18 LIVE

Country

Single Parent

2 Parents Cohabiting

2 Parents Married

Denmark

17.9%

15.1%

65.6%

Finland

14.4%

15.8%

68.9%

France

13.5%

21.0%

64.5%

Germany

15.0%

5.5%

78.2%

Greece

5.3%

1.2%

92.3%

Italy

10.2%

5.2%

83.9%

Poland

11.0%

9.2%

79.0%

Spain

7.2%

7.9%

83.7%

Sweden

17.6%

30.5%

50.6%

United Kingdom

21.5%

12.5%

64.5%

In this table BOLD indicates those countries with highest incidence and ITALICS indicates countries with lowest incidence of each situation

Global

  • In Australia between 2004-2006, 22% of all households with children under 15 are single family. 22
    • In 1973 the Supporting Mother’s Benefit legislation was introduced specifically targeted to single mothers and in 1977, it expanded to cover single fathers.23
  • In China, the employment rate of mothers (age 25-34) with children under the age of 6 is 72.0% which is10.9% lower than women in the same age group with no children.24
  • In India, 792,950 children benefited from Creches in 2009: (preschool education, supplementary nutrition and recreation that benefits children of working mothers).25
    • India has the lowest divorce rate in the world which makes single parenting not a large problem. But the divorce rate is expected to increase significantly.26
  • In 2006, 82.7% of all children in India lived with both parents. 8.5% lived only with the mother (but the father still alive).27
  • In Japan, .2% of fathers and 44.5% of mothers take advantage of the Child Care Leave Policy.28
    • 87.7% of children under 14 live with both parents.29

PERCENTAGE OF COMPANIES OFFERING EMPLOYER PROVIDED CHILDCARE/OTHER DOMESTIC SUPPORT30

 

Country

With Employee on Parental Leave

With No Employees on Parental Leave

Austria

6%

7%

Denmark

5%

4%

Germany

5%

3%

Greece

9%

5%

Finland

7%

4%

France

7%

8%

Italy

2%

2%

Poland

3%

7%

Spain

8%

3%

Sweden

3%

3%

United Kingdom

17%

17%

 

CHILDREN IN COUPLE HOUSEHOLD BY EMPLOYMENT STATUS, 200831

 

Country

Both Parents Work Full-Time

One parent works full-time

One parent full-time and one parent part-time

Finland

51.7%

32.8%

10.2%

France

37.8%

28.9%

24.4%

Germany

14.2%

32.1%

42.4%

Greece

48.0%

42.6%

6.1%

Italy

30.2%

43.5%

20.0%

Poland

49.7%

36.1%

6.8%

Spain

40.2%

39.0%

16.5%

Turkey

11.6%

68.9%

3.3%

United Kingdom

21.1%

27.1%

40.0%

 

How to cite this product: Catalyst. Catalyst Quick Take: Working Parents. New York: Catalyst, 2012.