A couple of weeks ago there was an article shared on professional network LinkedIn about employers shunning stay-at-home parents in favour of full-time onsite staff instead. I commented, I needed to because I am not only a stay-at-home parent, but I work from home, and I too feel the wreath of the big boots who think my services and skills aren’t and will not ever be as good as someone who goes into the office every day.
The article says; Stay at home parents looking to return to the workforce are about half as likely to receive callbacks for jobs than unemployed parents, according to research by UNC’s Kate Weisshaar. Employers are more likely to view stay-at-home parents as “less reliable, less deserving of a job, and…. less committed.” Weisshaar writes. Such norms, which push parents out of the workforce in the first place, can also set their careers back over the long term.
So I, alongside 1,574 people who commented, felt they needed to say something. I mean, of course, I constantly have been rejected because I’m a work-from-home-mum-of-one and a lot of employers just don’t want people like me. I’ve spoken to brands and employers in the past who will then ignore my emails, don’t bother calling back, or just do the opposite to what they originally said if I’ve been lucky to get to speak to them in the first place. It’s very frustrating. Little do they know, but I am very reliable, I’m very dedicated to any client and role I work with, I offer an affordable service and I do a damn good job, but for some reason, having a baby and staying at home is just not good enough for whatever job they have.
I find it so bizarre that companies don’t offer more roles to stay-at-home parents. In a day and age where childcare costs as much as day rates, I think it’s ridiculous employers won’t take advantage of the many women and men who stay at home looking after their kids, who can do a good job for that company. I have 10 years experience in what I do, across 2 specialist industries and recently got rejected because they weren’t sure if they could have someone in a fun close-knit team working from home, even though I said I could come in twice a month and offer just as much of what they needed without the expense of a desk. It’s disappointing that we live in a world that’s so high-tech, so online, so digital, yet some companies are hell-bent they need staff onsite at all times.
I’m not sure if anyone realises, but us stay-at-home parents, whether working or not, can offer businesses a lot more than just work. We’re hard-working, we know how to organise, we can multi-task, we can work under pressure, we are very good at budgeting and time management and are probably a far-cry better than all those bods on site.
There needs to be a change, and it should happen soon. I spoke to a friend who has a digital agency the other day and she’s still looking for the perfect person. But no ones perfect. Even the job descriptions you get these days want the perfect person, but so few exist without a price tag. Instead of hiring someone in-house, I told them they should look to the stay at home parent that has all the skills they need, without having to foot the bill of an expensive desk or ridiculous overheads. But she didn’t want to hear it. Hopefully, things will change.
Since my comment, I now work with a lovely group of clients. I work the hours I want, around Emily, I have the time to see my friends and I can go to the groups I want with Emily so she’s not bored being at home all the time. All whilst being great at what I do, achieving the right results, giving the kind of service that is exactly the same as someone who works onsite. There’s really nothing very different to those in-house. I’m just a mum, working from home, available on phone, email, Skype and more instead of sitting next to you in an office. I can be everything that you want and you need, just sitting at home in my home office rather than sitting next to you.