WFH Survey: 69% of Mothers’ Careers Stalled by Pandemic-Related Childcare Demands

careers stalled, WFH Survey: 69% of Mothers’ Careers Stalled by Pandemic-Related Childcare Demands

Think your career is going to be set back by having to help your kid through Zoom class? You’re not alone. Fishbowl’s latest survey revealed that 59.15% of working parents and 68.76% of working mothers feel that their career’s progress and priorities have been negatively impacted by how much more time they have to spend caring for their children each day because of the pandemic.

In recognition of International Women’s Month this March, Fishbowl ran a series of surveys about working women’s experiences in 2021 and the pandemic’s impact on their professional lives. Earlier, we discovered that 42% of women (as compared to 32% of men) have decided not to ask for a promotion because of pandemic-era changes. And, this past week, we asked working parents (and mothers) how increased childcare responsibilities due to the pandemic have impacted their jobs.

In some ways, the gendered impact of the pandemic was to be expected. Last year, Fishbowl’s working from home surveys revealed that 25% of mothers (as opposed to 46% of fathers) were able to take care of their kids while working remotely and 70% of women (as opposed to 67% of men) were facing burnout. Yet, this newest set of data does continue to indicate the drastic and diverse ways in which the (now year old) pandemic has impacted women and their professional lives.

About the Survey

To discern how working parents and mothers have been impacted by school closures and the pandemic, we asked our users to agree or disagree with the following statement:

My career progression has been negatively impacted due to increased childcare responsibilities during the pandemic.

The survey ran from February 26 to March 4th, 2021, and 5,787 professionals responded. The users were also surveyed for their gender.

The Results

  • Overall, 59.15% of the adults we surveyed agreed with the statement, signifying that their professional lives have been heavily impacted by having to parent and work simultaneously.
  • However, by gender, the results were even more indicative of the pandemic’s impact. 51.31% of men and 68.76% of women agreed with the statement. And, this (17.45%) difference in responses indicates that mothers are either taking more care of their children because of the pandemic than fathers, that their careers have been more impacted by caring for their children, or both. The impact of the pandemic on working parents is certainly gendered.

Looking Forward

As many states continue to roll out vaccination distribution plans, the media’s attention is turning to pandemic’s lasting effects on everyday life. From mental health concerns to economic recovery, the pandemic will certainly influence everything about our world in the years to come. Yet, as the results from the survey demonstrate, the impact of COVID-19 has also been (and will continue to be) gendered.

Discussions in bowls for women and mothers continue to demonstrate this as well. Last week, for instance, an account director posted about her experience trying to mother and work full-time.


And, another mom took the opportunity to ask for advice on working while taking care of a kid:


As these posts, and the data, demonstrates, working parents (and mothers in particular) have been severely impacted by having to take care of their kids and work full-time simultaneously. And, perhaps more importantly, these accounts also emphasize the importance of paying attention to gender as more information about the pandemic’s long-term impact emerges. To support women, we must continue to pay attention to them. And, to help them, we certainly must keep their different and difficult experiences in mind.

In the meantime, working mothers have been able to find strength in one another and their shared experiences on Fishbowl. Whether joking, posting their experiences, or looking for advice, mothers are using digital tools like Fishbowl daily to stay connected and stick together.

To join these conversations (and Fishbowl), click here.

About Fishbowl

Fishbowl is a social networking app for verified professionals to discuss the intersection of their personal and professional interests. With optional anonymity, users can look forward to honest, genuine, and profound conversations between coworkers at their company or with professionals who share their goals.

Looking For More?

Here’s what else has been happening on Fishbowl this week:

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