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Why hiring more mums is a smart move

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HC Online | 12 Feb 2015, 07:24 AM Agree 0
“Do you have any children?” – it may be a banned question but researchers say hiring managers should actually be hoping the answer is “yes.”
  • JaneG | 12 Feb 2015, 12:10 PM Agree 0
    This article is a load of BS and the research base is significantly flawed. I would suggest the "researchers" move into the real word and study what really goes on in the workplace. Women who have kids are not focussed on their work in general. They frequently get to work late and leave early, with the unfinished work being palmed off to another team member, as if it's their right to do so, rather than take full ownership of their job. Their indivdual drop in productivity forces their already overworked team members to cover their slack. I've read a lot of poorly written articles based around non-facts in my lifetime but this one really takes the biscuit. What a load of bollocks.
  • Linda Pettersson | 12 Feb 2015, 01:11 PM Agree 0
    I am not surprised that research shows that parents with children are more productive than others. Parenting and paid work involve working to a complex round of juggling priorities and meeting deadlines, to keep the whole show afloat. I have found that mothers who work part-time are usually more diligent than any others in the work group because they know they have to leave on time and so cannot afford to waste time when completing tasks to that deadline. I am sorry that JaneG has experienced otherwise, but her experience is not universal. As for saying that the research is a load of bollocks, claims that women who have kids are not focused, get to work late and leave early, leaving unfinished work for others to do, are the observations of one and as far as I know, not backed by research.
  • David | 12 Feb 2015, 01:40 PM Agree 0
    Wow JaneG you must be an absolute joy to work with! It seems you have had a negative experience and so choose to lump all working mothers in the one basket. What a ridiculous statement that "Women who have kids are not focussed(sp) on their work in general." This comment is what's really bollocks!

    While I am not saying the research above is the be all, my experience with working Mum's is spot-on with this article. Another factor to add is that many Mum's use guilt to further fuel their productivity because they think others judge them (given the rant by JaneG I would say this is fairly accurate). They don't want to be perceived as "slacking off" so they work even harder.

    I would think real issues leading to a decline in productivity include coming to work sick or hung-over, personal problems not just related to children, and a general disengagement from their jobs. If you're not happy doing what your doing then you are not going to do it well.
  • Ann-Marie | 12 Feb 2015, 04:36 PM Agree 0
    Please don't put everyone in the same basket! As a mother of two I learnt to juggle and prioritise to meet all deadlines and contribute to my workplace as my career is important to me. I have worked with other mums, who love being a parent, but when they are at work, they are at work. I completely agree with David's last point regarding productivity.
  • Mrs. Gallagher | 13 Feb 2015, 09:44 AM Agree 0
    This article and especially the comments are both delusional. I have to agree with JaneG. Out of around 100 working moms that I get to know throughout my employment history of 14 years, only 2 that really stands out to be professional, committed and productive in the workplace. That means my personal research shows only 2% of the working mum populations can really back this delusional article containing the "research" done by an "all-male research team". By the way, if the intention of writing up an article like this is to campaign gender equality, better stop making gender specific articles altogether. I am a woman, and I am so sick of women who keep asking a big pat in the back as if being a woman is much harder than a man. Stop whinging and just contribute to society!
  • Elaine B. | 13 Feb 2015, 11:15 AM Agree 0
    The entire article is rather misleading. The original survey done by the Bank of St Louis is merely "Examining the effect of pregnancy and parenthood on the research productivity
    of academic economists". This is hardly a fair representation of the general working population. I'm sure most academic economists are extremely productive regardless of their parental position.

    The paper also then even goes on to say that unmarried mothers and becoming a mother before 30 years of age appears to have a detrimental effect on research productivity. This is hardly outperforming women without children "at every stage of the game."

    The article should be titled "Why Hiring a Married Academic Economist Over 30, With Children, is a Smart Move"
  • Sebastian | 16 Feb 2015, 12:57 PM Agree 0
    I think the problem is in how the study has been reported. Even a cursory glance at the Introduction of the 63 page article reveals that the differences in productivity are 'not statistically significant', that the findings can only be related to 'professionals' such as those involved in the survey and that there is no causal link established. The generalised nature of the way the results have been reported has overplayed the findings. I am also dismayed at some of the knee-jerk reactions in the comments. As HR professionals we must be prepared to acknowledge research findings even if they conflict with our personal (anecdotal) experience or simply say things we don't want to hear. Just saying it sounds like BS or assuming there is a hidden agenda in the research lacks credibility. As a profession we've got to be better than this.
  • Mel T | 16 Feb 2015, 01:04 PM Agree 0
    Nice work Elaine B! If I am in the market for an academic economist I know what to look for. Unfortunately it doesn't happen too often in fmcg or...(cough)...most industries.
  • PC | 19 Feb 2015, 11:49 AM Agree 0
    As a working mother of two, I would like to say that being a mother is absolutely irrelevant to my ability to do my role. I am capable, therefore I am employed, my personal situation is not a factor in the completion of my work in a satisfactory manner. It is 2015, man, woman, mother, father, single, married - who cares. JaneG would never have to cover my slack, not because I am a mother, but because I am professional.
  • Nikki R | 19 Feb 2015, 12:36 PM Agree 0
    Here has been my experience. Mothers are generally as professional as the next person but it is the other parent stuff that is a problem. My babysitter is sick so I have to stay at home to look after my child, my child is sick because of the babysitter so I have to stay at home, I'm sick because of my child so I have to stay at home. Being a parent limits a person's ability to do the job unless a support network is in place. Ultimately who comes first, child or job? I am a parent
  • JL | 26 Feb 2015, 03:19 PM Agree 0
    Why should the study be based on women? There's always a label of working mothers, but what about working fathers? shouldn't they share the same responsibility and commitment to either work or family as the female partner?
    Biggest issue is that Women earn less than men hence women are ready to take on more family responsibility so that their partner can bring in the money. If its the other way around, the men will take on more responsible for the family! Its always about the money at the end of the day. We all have home loans, bills, expenses etc.
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