Achieving Work/Life Balance Is Definition of Career Happiness for Most Working Mothers, Finds New SFN Group Study

Over half of working moms surveyed are not satisfied with their career

May 02, 2011, 14:34 ET from SFN Group, Inc.

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla., May 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- A recent SFN Group, Inc. study shows many working moms are not satisfied with their career, and feel their work is more stressful than being a stay-at-home mom. This is in a large part due to a lack of work/life balance. According to the study, 56 percent of working mothers are not satisfied with their career, while 62 percent say "achieving work/life balance" is most important to achieving career happiness.

However, work/life balance is difficult to attain for many working moms. The study finds the majority of respondents (70 percent) don't have a flexible arrangement worked out with their boss, and nearly four of ten surveyed say motherhood takes a back seat to work responsibilities. Besides pay and advancement, flexible work schedules and flexible arrangements are two of the more influential factors in achieving career happiness for working mothers.

"The increasing number of mothers entering or re-entering the workforce has helped solve a talent gap for many of today's companies," says Deborah Dean, SVP of Strategic Accounts and Supplier Diversity for SFN Group, Inc. "Working moms are an important segment of today's workforce, providing organizations the skilled and knowledgeable talent pool they require. However, many businesses are falling short in delivering the much-needed flexibility that these workers require in order to achieve job satisfaction and engagement. Without work/life balance policies, programs and cultures in place, companies will quickly lose these talented workers to family-friendly competition."

Stress, Schedules New Barriers for Many Women in Workplace

Surprisingly, the barriers for working mothers in years past appear to have diminished greatly with three out of four (76 percent) respondents indicating no feeling of disconnection from colleagues or peers due to family responsibilities as a mother. Further, 69 percent don't feel they have to "prove themselves" more after having kids and returning to work.

On the contrary, motherhood has positively influenced the workplace perspective for many respondents, including:

  • 46 percent of working moms say they are more sympathetic to others' needs/flexibility
  • 42 percent try not to sweat the small stuff
  • 33 percent have become more patient

However, greater stress and difficulty in balancing work responsibilities have become significant challenges for working mothers. In fact, 60 percent of respondents would choose to be a stay-at-home mom (if it were financially feasible), and 59 percent say their career produces more life stress than motherhood. Furthermore, 63 percent of respondents said working outside the home is more stressful (versus 37 percent who named being a stay-at-home mom as more stressful).

Other results from the survey include:

  • Of the 30 percent of working mothers who have a flexible/special work arrangement with their boss, 80 percent don't feel their coworkers resent them for it.
  • Other top factors for achieving career happiness for working moms, include:
    • Pay (58 percent)
    • Opportunity for advancement (39 percent)
    • Relationship with co-workers (16 percent)

  • The ideal work arrangements for working mothers include full-time (38 percent), part-time (32 percent), consultant or freelance (24 percent).


The April 2011 SFN Group Working Mothers Survey was conducted online within the United States by Monster Worldwide on behalf of SFN Group between April 6 and April 17, 2011 among a U.S. sample of 606 working mothers registered Monster users.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with non-response, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Monster feels the use of "margin of error" is misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, un-weighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published surveys come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were randomly selected from among those who have agreed to receive communication from Monster, so no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

About SFN Group, Inc.

SFN Group is a strategic workforce solutions company that provides professional services and general staffing to help businesses more effectively source, deploy and manage people and the work they do. As an industry pioneer, SFN Group has sourced, screened and placed millions of individuals in temporary, temp-to-hire and full-time jobs for more than 60 years.

With approximately 560 locations in the United States and Canada, SFN delivers strategic workforce solutions that improve business performance. From outsourcing to technology to professional services to staffing, SFN delivers the best combination of people, performance and service to improve the way work gets done. It provides its services to approximately 8,000 customers, from Fortune 500 companies to a wide range of small and mid-size organizations. The company employs more than 160,000 people annually through its network and is one of North America's largest employers. SFN provides its solutions through a family of specialized businesses: Technisource, Tatum, The Mergis Group, Todays Office Professionals, SourceRight Solutions and Spherion Staffing Services.

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SOURCE SFN Group, Inc.