Employee Engagement

International Women’s Day survey conducted by employee insights company Talivest also reveals just 14% percent of Irish women show high levels of satisfaction with the support they get from their organisations when returning to work.

International Women’s Day Survey on Maternity Returns

44 percent of mums in Ireland are not happy with the support they get from organisations when they return from maternity leave. 

In addition, less than 1 in 5 mums are very satisfied with the support they receive from their managers. The survey also found that of the 140 women asked:

  • 16% listed their manager as a negative influence on their maternity return 
  • 13% felt overwhelmed, lost, or pressurised when they went back to work

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Negative Experiences

When asked about the negative experiences professional mums had returning to work, 15% said they were expected to get straight back to full duties with no transition period, while 9% complained of a lack of flexible working hours. 

Those who stated they were very dissatisfied with their organisation’s support on return from maternity leave were more likely to report an unexpected change in role, tasks or responsibilities.

Other negative reports brought up in the anonymous survey included; being passed over for promotions, meetings taking place during creche drop-off or collection hours, a long commute, and being refused a four-day working week.

Create a Better Return from Maternity Leave

Jayne Ronayne, CEO of Talivest, said of the results: “There is a disconnect between how some organisations say they support mothers and how mums actually feel when they return to work. This International Women’s Day, I want to draw attention to the fact that, in Ireland, coming back from maternity leave is an important transition that a number of organisations overlook.

We recommend that companies ask returning mothers how they would best feel supported. By listening to employees, organisations can create a more supportive culture for working mothers, and parents, alike.”

She went on: “The findings from our survey highlight that returning to work after maternity leave can be stressful, isolating and challenging for professional women in Ireland.

Both managers and organisations need to do more in terms of flexibility, support and communications, to create a better return to work for mothers.”

“At Talivest, we want to create a better employee experience by providing Human Resources leaders and CEOs with the tools they need to understand what maternity returners value most.

By giving back deep insights into the emotional health of the organisation, we can provide a snapshot of where companies are doing well and where they can improve, when it comes to supporting not just maternity returners, but also their entire workforce,” Ronayne said. 

About Talivest

Talivest is an employee survey and analytics tool that provides actionable insights to organisations to reveal not only what drives productivity and engagement, but also the risk factors for stress and burnout. We also offer tools that help with the full employee lifecycle, from onboarding and engagement right through to the employee exit. Request a Demo to see how we can help you. 


Laura Belyea