More than seven in 10 (74%) Malaysian parents experience workplace discrimination after having children - the highest among the three countries surveyed.
Over the causeway in Singapore, 68% of parents experience workplace discrimination. While in the Philippines, 67% of parents had the same experience. This was according to new research by Monster.com ahead of Mother’s Day.
Both Malaysian mums and dads worry (45%) about how they will make the most of their flexible working arrangements to effectively balance work and home, and 35% don’t believe current parental leave policies are sufficient for modern working parents.
"As both men and women take on responsibilities as breadwinners, they also share more parental obligations. Dads today are less likely to take their role for granted and tend to believe work priorities can interfere with their home lives," said Abhijeet Mukherjee, CEO of Monster.com - APAC & Gulf.
That said, the decision to have a family still has a greater impact on mums than dads.
More mums (55%) than dads (47%) found that their decision to have a family has affected their career options. Mums (55%) have also reported having more issues when returning to work as compared to dads (47%).
At the same time, women were more likely to agree to the statement "I don't have enough parental leave." - 38% of women compared to 30% of men.
Women also found a greater need for flexibility to effectively manage their home and work lives - 82% of women and 75% of men. Despite 55% of Malaysian employees saying they do have flexible working arrangements in some capacity.
When asked why mothers quit their jobs, 67% of Malaysian men said it’s because women desire to spend more time with their families, compared to 56% of women who said the same.
In fact, most women said they believe mothers leave their jobs due to a lack of flexibility (66%), indicating that current policies around flexible working don’t provide the support needed.
But women are not the only ones quitting. According to the survey both genders (72% of women and 63% of men) have expressed the desire to search for a new job over the next 12 months.
When it comes to what parents are looking for in a new job, top three priorities for parents in Malaysia were
- Salary and compensation (83% men, 84% women)
- Good company benefits (73% men, 75% women)
- Work-life balance (69% men, 73% women)
Mukherjee said: "Even though employers may state they offer arrangements to support working parents, this does not mean both mums and dads are free to utilise these policies how they see fit. Working parents are desperate for more choices and options, and Malaysian employers need to listen to their requests, or better communicate how they can take advantage of what is on offer to them."
This research was conducted for the third consecutive year as part of the #SheMakesItWork campaign in celebration and support of mothers in the workforce, or returning to work after having children.
The research surveyed over 2,000 professionals across Malaysia (799), Singapore (540), and the Philippines (899) to understand the unique challenges and barriers both men and women face at work, particularly with regards to parental leave and work-life balance.