Working Moms Taking Less Maternity Leave

May 10, 2012 ( - The struggle to balance career and family starts in the earliest stages of parenthood, according to CareerBuilder’s annual study of working moms.  

By Tara Cantore | May 10, 2012
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One in four (26%) working moms who have had a child in the last three years reported they did not take the full maternity leave allowed by their company. One in 10 took two weeks or less.

Competitive work environments and demanding positions may be causing more women to reduce their time off from work after delivery. While most working moms who’ve had a child in the last three years (44%) reported taking more than eight weeks of maternity leave, 12% said they took two weeks or less. Forty percent were off work for six weeks or less.

Financial pressures are also playing a key role in how moms are managing time at work. Thirty-nine percent of working moms and 43% of working dads surveyed by CareerBuilder reported that they are the sole financial provider in their household. Working dads who are the sole breadwinner were almost twice as likely to earn $50,000 or more and were approximately three times as likely to earn six figures as working moms. Women were much more likely to earn less than $35,000 compared with men.

Women continue to feel the tug of war between the office and home, wishing for more time to balance both. One in four (25%) working moms feels she has to choose between her children and being successful at her job. Twenty-four percent reported they have missed three or more significant events in their children’s lives in the last year because of work obligations.