In Sweden, the average age of having the first baby is 29. In some parts of Stockholm women wait until they’re 40 to become mothers. The reason: they’re afraid that their career will suffer, according to research conducted by Uppsala University.
Here are some quick facts from the research:
Sweden is one of the world’s most generous countries in giving parental leave and is renowned for having one of the best day care services. Moreover, it’s one of the most egalitarian societies regarding mothers versus fathers taking leave, responsibilities over childcare and household choirs. For example, fathers must take a minimum of 60 days, if they wish to take full advantage of the total 480 days given to both parents; the couple otherwise lose the days, if the father chooses not to take leave. Despite these generous benefits and Sweden’s open society, the Swedes still wait longer to have children, women still earn less than men, employers still discriminate against working moms and women still take 85% of the parental leave since men typically prioritize their career over family life. Yes, even Sweden with its great track record, can further progress.
Being an employer, you can make a difference. Many women in the survey state that in job interviews they’ve been asked about their thoughts on having children. Naturally, they start to feel stressed that if they reveal too much, they’ll not get the job. As an employer, it’s advisable not to delve into people’s private lives.
4 things you can do to be a supportive employer