Some statistics from the CSO Report on Women and Men in Ireland 2013 :
The average age at which women give birth to their first child rose from 24.9 years in 1980 to 29.8 years in 2011.
More than half of women aged between 25 and 35 have a third-level qualification compared with just over four out of ten men.
In 2013 the employment rate varied from 85.6% for women with a husband/partner and no children to 51.7% for women whose youngest child was aged between 4 and 5 years of age, a difference of 33.9 percentage points.
In contrast, the employment rate for men with a wife/partner and no children was 86.2% while the rate for men whose youngest child was aged between 4 and 5 was 76.2%.
We can see from above the average age of motherhood is rising. Women with many years of invaluable industry specific experience are choosing to start a family and the stats would suggest that quite a lot do not return to the workplace once they do so. There are many reasons why this is so. It may be a preference to be a stay-at-home mum. It may not be financially viable to return to work or it may be down to little or no organizational support on return. Starting a family is a life changing event and it makes business sense for companies to step back and consider what they can do to provide support to their female executives the ensure their effective and efficient re-engagement with their careers.
Maternity coaching is one such support. Maternity coaching supports female executives to successfully manage maternity leave and motherhood in the context of their professional lives. It has been shown to improve retention rates and help support faster return to full productivity post maternity leave.
Maternity coaching gives the client or group the opportunity to consider, discuss and plan for maternity leave and subsequent return to work. It can be delivered in either a group or one to one context and will depend on the needs of the client and the company. Maternity coaching is an affordable and proactive measure which should be considered by organizations anxious to retain their qualified, experienced professional women.