Lack of compatibility between childcare and career still prevalent

4 November 2022
Survey by 5050 by OMR and Appinio of 20 to 45-year-old women

Around 622 women aged between 20 and 45 years in office jobs were interviewed online by the Hamburg-based 5050 by OMR initiative and the Appinio market research company about their careers and children, grievances and means of support offered by employers.

Main focus 

Almost every second woman (44 per cent) expressed doubts about the compatibility of work and children. Some 66 per cent cited work-life balance, 55 per cent possible overload, 42 per cent wrong timing and 41 per cent of respondents in management positions re-entry opportunities as the reasons. A quarter of childless respondents said that having children would cause problems in their company. Around 47 per cent of childless women felt a decision to have a child would have a negative impact on their career, while 43 per cent of the mothers felt the same way.


Around 38 per cent of respondents had experienced discrimination at work because of motherhood and especially those in managerial positions (49 per cent). Around 44 per cent of childless women, but who would like to have children and 36 per cent of mothers said a career tends to influence family planning.

Promoting equality and equal salaries

However, 70 per cent of respondents said their career has gone according to their expectations hitherto - regardless of age and whether they have a child. Around 83 per cent of respondents said their employer promotes equality and offers flexible working hours, networking opportunities, equal pay and mentoring. Around 67 per cent of mothers can work flexible hours, but only 15 per cent benefit from childcare provided by their employer and job sharing (9 per cent). Around 18 per cent of respondents said they received no support at all from their employer. And when it comes to salaries, around 33 per cent of respondents said they were paid less than their male counterparts and lack equal opportunities (32 per cent).

Reconciling childcare and career still difficult 

Asked about childcare at home, the vast majority or 62 per cent of women answered: "I do most of it" and only 35 per cent share it equally. Most women or 74 per cent have neither family, babysitters nor nannies to turn to for help. Mothers still have the main responsibility for childcare. Reconciling a child and career remains difficult for more than half of women or 62 per cent, regardless of whether the care is shared. 


Sources and further information

5050 by OMR

The Hamburg-based initiative 5050 by OMR is committed to greater fairness and justice and offers a podcast, (digital) events and an open community. The initiative is on a mission to achieve gender balance in the economy and at management levels in digital industries.

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