Working alongside The Heat Group, we created a survey inspired by The Distance to find out what Australian women think about motherhood and relationships today.
This survey of 1095 women found we are only supportive of our female friends returning to work after having a baby if our friend earns more than the man in the house. And this translates into the vast majority of Australian mums lacking support from their friends to return to work.
The survey, a “Heat Poll” conducted by The Heat Group (Australia’s largest privately-owned cosmetics company), found that 88.8% of women said they would be fully supportive of a friend (a mum) returning to work when she earns more than her partner, however if the same friend earned less than her partner, only 40.97% would be supportive of her. With only 1 in 4 Australian couples having a female breadwinner, in the majority of cases women are left ‘holding the baby’…and their female support networks are ok with it.
The majority of respondents cited other reasons for why fellow women are staying at home with the kids, including the pressure the mum puts on herself (76.63%) and pressure from broader society (68.14%).
Managing Director of The Heat Group, Gillian Franklin, thinks the lack of support and understanding from female friends can have devastating flow-on effects, from general happiness to our economy. “A third of women admitted their expectations of motherhood were only “somewhat met”, and only 67% agreed the sacrifices to their career were worth it. There are a lot of unsatisfied mothers staying out of the workforce because they don’t have the earning capacity of their partners. If they, like most women, don’t earn as much as their partner when they go on maternity leave, chances are they will never catch up.”
The results of this Heat Poll provided revealing insight into the challenges that mothers face. Heat Polls are created to contribute to Heat’s mission to create positive change for all women.
This Heat Poll published on 2 March has now closed. See the original post here.