75% of female executives feel inhibited in their careers

Do you experience a child as an obstacle in your career? Yes, according to the results of an Apec survey conducted among 840 women leaders and published this Thursday morning. Four quarters of them believe that maternity leave slows down their hierarchical progress “by a few years”.

Almost every other respondent (47%) also felt that their return to work was “difficult” as it was often “poorly supported”. “Motherhood is generally perceived as an obstacle in the relationship between a woman in charge and her employer,” notes the Executive Employment Association.

In some companies, maternity leave is “reduced to criminal absence, a problem that needs to be solved, instead of being considered a logical and predictable step in a woman's professional career”, she analysed.

Risk of “plaquestration” after return

Also, “during their leave, some executives continue to be connected to their company to varying degrees (monitoring email or clients, attending certain online meetings), contrary to the legal obligation”.

More than seven out of ten women who return from leave also talk about “difficulties in dealing with their work despite being tired”. Many have not been systematically replaced, with the risk of “overload of work after return” and “danger of burnout when returning to the workplace”.

In contrast, “if the replacement is done in good conditions, the risk is rather that it will not return to the initial position”.

Some women experience “progressive 'invisibility', 'placarding'”, continues Apec, who notes that “all these risks are accentuated in the case of long parental leave”.

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