Women are working longer to support their family – or giving up entirely

1 Sep

Two surveys from financial services companies show the financial pressures working women are under to support their children, whether they’re toddler, teens or adults

Friends Life’s Working Women report says that a quarter of working women aged 50-plus are delaying retirement to support their grown-up children – with those aged 21 and over receiving an average of £3,180 from their parents over the past 12 months. More than half of working mothers anticipate helping their children buy a house, and 70% of working women still permit their adult children to live at home, even when they’ve got jobs.

At the younger end of motherhood, the Family Finance Report from insurer Aviva says it’s hardly worth doing a part-time job because the salary gets eaten up by childcare costs. The survey says that 32,000 women have left the workforce in the past year because it’s just not worth their while financially.

Something isn’t adding up here: how about affordable childcare for all, like they have in Sweden, where just 6% of net family income goes towards childcare, compared with 33% in the UK? Then perhaps the pay gap in the UK may not be quite so vast, because women may be able to remain in the workforce and and afford to have a family AND a career.

This opinion piece in Herald Scotland, We must stop pricing mothers out of jobs, pretty much captures the very real challenges – and the “insidious” discrimination – that many working women are still facing in the 21st century.


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