The job situation for single mothers is different for every country. While labour market participation of single mothers in Estonia and Hungary ranks higher than the labour market participation of partnered mothers, OECD research depicts a different story in Australia, Belgium, the Netherlands and New Zealand — where partnered mothers are much more likely to be employed than single mothers.
Only 15.3% of the employed mothers, 9.7% of the unemployed mothers, and 4.9% of the stay-at-home mothers received a callback.
But it’s not just a tale of labour market participation, it is largely a story of unnecessary rejection. Rejection based solely on a CV gaps. According to a study conducted by Kate Weisshaar for HBR study, the callback rates for those re-entering the workforce are ludicrously low. In an attempt to put a precise number on it, Weisshaar sent out 3,374 resumes to job listings. She found that only 15.3% of the employed mothers, 9.7% of the unemployed mothers, and 4.9% of the stay-at-home mothers received a callback.
The fact is, organisations have not fully been able to optimise a situation wherein single mothers are able to participate in higher rates. “In the past and now, it is still happening here in Australia”, says Sandra I-Hua Lim, a volunteer for Jobs for Humanity and Jobs for Single Moms. “More traditional thinking organisations simply do not offer flexibility or understanding are barriers to getting single mothers into the workplace.”
‘The tide is turning, but very slowly’
With workforces operating remotely more so than ever before in recent years, Lim argues that it has helped eliminate some of the troubles and stigmas associated with single working mothers. “But more needs to be done”, she says. “I know many mothers, some single, some in relationships, who have had their managers or superiors make snide comments and remarks when they have had to take time off work to look after a sick child.”
“The tide is turning, but very slowly. Not just for single mothers, but any mothers who want to return back to work.”
“From what I have seen, the tide is turning but very slowly”, Lim adds. “Not just for single mothers, but any mothers who want to return back to work. Organisations are still quite hesitant on opening up roles on a part-time basis as they feel that they can only offer work on an on-going full-time position. For single mothers, this is at least twice as hard. As they don’t have a secondary partner or income to help, so they are ‘forced’ to return to work full time.”
Jobs for Single Moms and Parents
Enter Jobs for Humanity, and their newest jobboard: Jobs for Single Moms and Parents. It is the non-profit’s fifth exclusive jobboard in a line of six for traditionally underrepresented talent. Spearheaded by a team of volunteers from all over the world, Jobs for Humanity aims to do what it says on the tin: create equal job opportunity for all.
“The short term goal is to offer quality jobs to single mothers, and parents, that allow them to earn a decent living while maintaining the flexibility they need to raise their children.”
“With Jobs for Single Moms, the short term goal is to offer quality jobs to single mothers, and parents, that allow them to earn a decent living while maintaining the flexibility they need to raise their children”, Jobs for Humanity founder Roy Baladi told ToTalent. “The long term goal is for Jobs for Humanity as a whole is to be a leading contributor to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal #8: quality jobs for all, by 2030.”
‘Take the leap, and trust’
As of January 2022, Jobs for Single Moms and Parents has 3138 open jobs listed across 35 industries. For candidates, the non-profit offers the ability to apply for jobs and upload resumes — while actively pursuing job opportunities through scheduling interviews. Employers, meanwhile, can sign up and post jobs — and receive recruiter support throughout the hiring process.
“If a woman can birth and nurture a child, and all the work that goes around it, she can most certainly perform well in the role she’s applied for.”
“Talent leaders, I would say: take the leap, and trust”, says Lim. “If a woman can birth and nurture a child, and all the work that goes around it, she can most certainly perform well in the role she’s applied for. Be a champion and supporter, not a naysayer or a Negative Nancy. Put yourselves in their shoes, and ask how you would like to be supported if you were ever in their situation.”
- Exclusive jobs site launched for Returning Citizens: ‘Judgement stops where understanding starts’
- Jobs for Humanity launches third unique job board for the neurodivergent