Today’s #hankkaLessons post will be a bit different from my usual entrepreneurship-focused ones, but I just read Pregnant then Screwed founder – Joeli Brearley‘s stats on UK’s motherhood status and I felt like more people need to be aware of what a sucker situation many women in the UK find themselves in.
“THREE QUARTERS of mothers who use childcare say that it doesn’t pay for them to work. That means the majority of mothers of young children who work are doing it for the love, not the money. Meanwhile over half of parents who use childcare say they have had to reduce their work hours because of childcare cost or availability. One in four of you are spending more than 75% of your take home pay on childcare. SEVENTY FIVE PERCENT.”
Years ago, I moved to London to study and pursue my passion for working and building technology. With no support network or family around, I knew that if I want to make my life here, settle and at some point, start a family, I need to first build solid financial foundations. I saw entrepreneurship as the best solution, but reality verified my hopes of becoming financially stable faster.
I didn’t want to join the ranks of women who were forced to stay home and take care of kids, because childcare cost was higher than what they could earn. And then consequently, when you’re out of the market, the pay gap is getting wider and wider…
Just a thought of it still gives me the shivers and makes me angry. All this wasted potential of women who wish to be more than mothers, but they can’t, because they can’t afford to realise their professional ambitions. They need to pay extra to do so.
You don’t want to have regrets, and maybe subconsciously blaming your kid for your unfulfilled ambitions. You want to be a good role model. A happy, fulfilled human being that finds balance at work and private life. At least I do.
I believe it’s nothing wrong when women (and men) don’t have an urge to fulfill themselves professionally, and stay-at-home parent is their ambition. But it’s very wrong, when this seems like your only option.
We can do better than that as a society.