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Women Less Employable After Starting a Family Says Robert Walters Survey

Women Less Employable After Starting a Family – Says Robert Walters Survey

In a recent Employee Insights Survey of female professionals in Japan, 77% of respondents believe women are less employable if they decide to start a family. In contrast, only 3% feel women are more employable, while 20% believe starting a family does not affect a woman’s chances of being re-hired. With more women in Japan possessing the business experience and specialised skill sets necessary for globalising companies, this perception will discourage female professionals from re-entering the workforce following childbirth.

For working mothers, the biggest challenges centred on balancing a career and family. 48% of respondents feel that long working hours make it difficult for mothers to re-enter the workforce and 24% believe a challenge is finding suitable childcare services. Job-related issues such as limited promotion opportunities (11%) and finding a challenging or motivating position (10%) were also concerns for professionals following maternity leave.

Natasha Brooks, Director of Contract comments: "There appears to be a real disconnect between women wanting to re-enter the workforce and the perception of their opportunities do so. Competition for globally experienced professionals is intensifying, so companies will need to implement policies to help retain those qualified female professionals seeking to balance family and a career. These could include strategies such as flexible working hours, the ability to work from home or offering contract positions to help working mothers control their schedules."

For the full report, visit

How do you feel a women’s decision to start a family will affect her ability

to be hired?         

Less employable  (77%)

No change  (20%)

More employable  (3%)

What do you feel is the main reason for women to rejoin the workforce after having children?

Income source  (39%)

To stay busy  (37%)

Career ambition  (19%)

Other  (6%)


What is the main challenge for women re-entering the workforce following maternity leave?

Long working hours  (48%)

Finding suitable childcare services  (24%) Limited promotion opportunities  (11%) Finding a challenging and motivating position  (10%) Negative perception from colleagues  (7%)


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