More than half of working mothers in the United States with children under 18 would prefer to stay home to take care of their kids than work outside of their house, according to a new Gallup report.
In a poll of 323,500 women, 54 percent of mothers who are currently employed either full- or part-time would rather stay home, while 40 percent would prefer to work outside the home. The figures are quite similar for mothers of young children who aren’t currently employed, while among women who work outside the home and don’t have children, 70 percent said they’d rather work and 29 percent would like to work at home.
The report found that, by and large, women want to work, but that having a child changes their preference. Working mothers ultimately want to be able to take care of both their children’s and company’s needs. Yet, many businesses are struggling to meet these standards, particularly in regard to giving women the flexibility to work from home as needed.
“Not all jobs allow employees to work from home, such as the female-dominated professions of nursing and teaching. Certain jobs require employees to be physically present. However, all organizations should examine their policies to determine if they can better incorporate this element of flexibility,” the report said.
The poll also found that 70 percent of men with young kids would rather work outside the home, while 80 percent without children would prefer work outside the home. The report suggests the 10 percent difference means there’s less of a stigma for men to be stay-at-home dads nowadays.