Parents ‘feel pressure to put work ahead of their family’

child-1073638_1280More than four in five (83%) working parents in the creative industries feel pressure to prioritise work over parenting duties, despite support offered by employers.

That is the damning conclusion of a new report which has been released as part of Philips Avent’s breakfast panel at the Empower Café in Cannes, featuring leading voices including Philips Business unit leader for mother and child care & women’s health Marci El-Deiry; It Takes A Village founder Chloe Davies; Cannes Lions chief DEI officer Frank Starling; and LePub executive creative director Sandrine Le Goff.

The survey results highlight that nearly eight in ten (78%) of working parents believe their employer offers adequate support yet a similar proportion (81%) said they feel they have to sacrifice their family life to achieve their career goals.

Meanwhile 79% of those surveyed agree that societal pressures and expectations on mums have increased in the past decade and 78% of parents have only up to an hour to themselves daily; 86% of reported less than one hour a day to look after themselves, compared with 52% of men surveyed.

Even so, only two in ten (19%) of those without kids recognised the difficulty parents face attending work events, like Cannes, with nearly half (44%) of parents admitting they have to be selective about the work events they attend because they do not want to or cannot leave their children.

The fact is, a quarter (25%) of parents who attend work events rely on their partner or babysitters (21%) to take care of childcare, with almost half of women (46%) saying they have to be selective attending work events compared to 39% of men.

Following the release of the figures and the panel event, the speakers called on the industry to commit to four core principles to better support working parents to #ShareTheCare, including:

– Leading with empathy: An acknowledgment from colleagues and senior leaders that no parenting journey is the same, actively signposting and offering support to working parents.

– Reviewing existing benefits: To work with parents to review existing benefits packages and policies to ensure they provide the support needed for parents in the industry.

– Creating safe spaces: To create safe spaces and forums for working parents to share and feel part of a ‘village’. To include working parents as part of DEI and not just HR to address intersectionality.

– Mentorship: To create a support system for working moms, to learn and be guided from senior colleagues in the industry.

Marci El-Deiry said: “As a mum of two boys, I know first-hand how challenging parenting can be alongside juggling your career; balancing the desire to be there for your children, while simultaneously wanting to accelerate in your career.

“It’s crucial that we acknowledge the challenges working parents face, and for employers to not only provide supportive benefit packages, but also create a culture where parents know they can ask for help without judgement. Giving parents support that enables them to share the care to make time for themselves is a win-win; it allows them to recharge and ultimately be their best at work, delivering results for the business.

“It’s important for me to lead by example, letting parents know that it’s OK to carve out time for themselves and their family, so they can be the best version of themselves, both at home and in the workplace.”

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