One-Third of Moms Today Are Sole Breadwinners

Adecco Survey Finds that Majority of Working Moms Have a Different Career Path in Mind for their Children

May 07, 2010, 09:00 ET from Adecco Staffing US

MELVILLE, N.Y., May 7 /PRNewswire/ -- This Mother's Day, moms across the country will be celebrated for all they do for their families– and they deserve it.  According to the latest American Workplace Insights survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Adecco Staffing US, part of the world's largest recruitment and workforce solutions provider, 30% of working moms(1) in America today are the sole breadwinners of their household.  However, being the sole provider may not be out of choice.  In fact, nearly half (52%) of moms would stay at home with their kids if they had the means/opportunity to do so. Additionally, the same number of working moms (52%) grew up in a household where their own mother worked.

Despite mothers' different preferences on working or staying at home, the majority of working moms agree on one point – 74% want their children to pursue a different profession or career path than their own. These aspirations may stem from experiences or challenges they had in their own career.

Additional survey findings include:

  • Moms Turn to Help To Raise Their Children: Nearly half (47%) of mothers responded that their children are being cared for by someone else such as a spouse, daycare program, family/friend or nanny.  
  • Moms Think They Make The Best Bosses: More than half (56%) of moms agree that mothers make the best bosses, yet only (42%) of moms would rather have their mom as a boss than their dad. 
  • East Coast Spouses Are More Resentful Of Salaries: Over a fifth (21%) of all working parents in the Northeast indicated that their spouse/significant other resents that they make more money than they do. In the West, less than half of that number (only 7%) say their spouse/significant other feels resentful of them. Perceptions between men and women were largely similar as 15% of men and 14% of women felt that their spouse resented that they made more.

"This Mother's Day, we continue to applaud the efforts of all working moms for their hard work at balancing families and careers," said Rich Thompson, vice president of learning and performance at Adecco Group North America. "These survey findings indicate more moms are torn between having a successful work life and family life. What moms need to remember is they can have both, and today's workforce offers a wide range of options including trying temporary employment which allows for a challenging and engaging career, while offering increased flexibility, enabling moms to better manage both their professional and family lives."

Adecco Staffing US offers the following tips for ways businesses can reduce workplace stress and work more effectively:

Offer Flex-Time Alternatives.

Studies have shown that working men and women would reject a promotion if it required them to spend less time with their families, and would consider flexible hours an attractive option.  By developing a work schedule that meets both your needs and your employees', productivity will increase, absenteeism will decrease, and employee morale will soar.

Provide Targeted Leadership Development for Working Moms.

Organizations that support leadership have a higher retention rate and happier employees. This is certainly the case with programming and workshops that target working parents in the office. Various companies like Adecco feature female leadership programs and conferences which strengthen skills in the office, while offering tips on ways to manage it all.

Allow Employees to Work From Home.

Studies show that productivity increases from 20 to 40 percent when people work at home because employees based out of the house work at their peak times with fewer interruptions and distractions, have more freedom from peer pressures and productivity norms, spend less time and energy dealing with the commuting.

About the Adecco Group:

The Adecco Group, based in Zurich, Switzerland, is the world's leading provider of HR solutions. With over 29,000 FTE employees and more than 5,800 offices, in over 60 countries and territories around the world, Adecco Group offers a wide variety of services, connecting more than 500,000 colleagues with over 100,000 clients every day. The services offered fall into the broad categories of temporary staffing, permanent placement, outsourcing, consulting and outplacement. The Adecco Group is a Fortune Global 500 company.

Adecco S.A. is registered in Switzerland (ISIN: CH0012138605) with listings on the SIX Swiss Exchange (ADEN) and on Euronext in France (ADE).

About Adecco Group North America:

Every day we provide our clients with the talent they need, and help solve the business challenges they face today – and will encounter tomorrow. Our clients rely on us for a wide range of workforce solutions including:

  • Contingent staffing and direct hire recruitment for large enterprise organizations across all skill sets
  • Workforce solutions and consulting including Managed Services Programs (MSP) & Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO)
  • Career transition and leadership consulting
  • Specialty staffing, project solutions and consulting services

Additional information is available through our websites at and

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Serving clients in over 215 countries and territories through our North American, European, and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us – and our clients – stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit

About this American Workplace Insights Survey

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Adecco from April 28-30, 2010 among 2,131 adults ages 18 and older, of whom 382 are employed full time and/or part time and are the parent and/or legal guardian of a child(ren) ages 17 and under. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Vannessa Almeida.

(1) For the purposes of this survey "working moms" are defined as U.S. adult women ages 18+ who are employed full time and/or part time and are the parent/legal guardian of a child/children ages 17 and under.

SOURCE Adecco Staffing US