Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Maternity leave: fazed out and slowly welcomed

27.09.2006
Working mothers-to-be may end up feeling like a disposable resource before they go on their maternity leave and this could be followed by difficulties reintegrating when they do return to work.

This is the finding of Dr Lynne Millward of the University of Surrey. She recently revealed her findings in the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology.

She followed eight women, aged between 25 and 40 years old, who were pregnant for the first time, working full-time in a range of public and private organisations (including education, health, retail and finance) and who returned to work after their child was born.

She found that all of the women felt that as their pregnancy continued they had become invisible to the organisation as a valued employee. “I was a person with a name and a contribution to make and now I’m just a pregnant woman whose bump has taken her over,” said one of the mums-to-be.

Quite often this ‘invisibility’ was simple a result of practical decisions, such as reducing and reassigning the women’s responsibilities to ensure preparation of staff for maternity cover. There was a full appreciation of the need for maternity cover but all the women felt especially alienated by efforts on the part of particular colleagues to organise cover without their consultation.

Once their maternity leave was over and the women returned to employment, they found it difficult to reintegrate and to establish themselves as both mother and employee. One mother said: “You feel you have almost got to start again, like you’ve lost all that personal credit you’ve built up against the old you … there’s definitely a feeling you have to build it up again.”

All of the women said they felt they had to prove their continued commitment to their jobs despite their changed circumstances but the half who had kept in touch with work either socially (through informal and formal contacts) or psychologically (in their own minds), appeared to find the reintegration experience a little less daunting and less problematic generally.

Dr Millward said her work had implications on what employers can do to make maternity leave easier on mums-to-be. She said: “It seems that women may appreciate an opportunity to take some ownership of, or at least have some involvement in, organising maternity cover. It may also be important to help women to retain a sense of organisation membership during their leave period. Some women may not wish to be interrupted by work matters during their period of maternity leave while other may like to keep at least one finger in the pie.”

Stuart Miller | alfa
Further information:
http://www.surrey.ac.uk

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Amazingly flexible: Learning to read in your thirties profoundly transforms the brain
26.05.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Kognitions- und Neurowissenschaften

nachricht Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Strathclyde-led research develops world's highest gain high-power laser amplifier

The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.

The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New insights into the ancestors of all complex life

29.05.2017 | Earth Sciences

New photocatalyst speeds up the conversion of carbon dioxide into chemical resources

29.05.2017 | Life Sciences

NASA's SDO sees partial eclipse in space

29.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>