17/3/19 – Side-lined, undervalued and anxious colleagues are more skilled than them: The truth about women going back to work after a career break

A new report out today reveals the impact taking a career break has on women’s confidence, career prospects, job satisfaction and earning power. The Confidence Gap Report, commissioned by TechPixies, which teaches social media and digital marketing skills to women wanting to return to work, asked 1000 working women what impact time out of the workplace had on their career.

When asked if they felt that taking a career break had damaged their career, nearly half the women (45%) said yes, which demonstrates that women feel disadvantaged when taking time out from work, whether to have children, care for a relative or any other reason.

Confidence amongst working women takes a battering after a career break with this new study showing:

  • Nearly half (45%) say they’d feel less anxious at work if only they could lose their self-doubt about their ability
  • One in three women (33%) feel anxious that colleagues are more up to speed with digital skills than they are
  • A quarter (24%) of women feel that a lack of confidence is their greatest stumbling block when returning to work

Taking a career break has a negative impact on a woman’s take-home pay too with 42% of women claiming they earn less now compared to when they went on a career break, including 22% earnt up to £10,000 less a year, 16% earning between £10,000 to £20,000 less a year after their career break and 4% earning over £20,000 less a year. Overall, this has left women returners feeling financially insecure and worried for their future with 37% of women saying they feel less confident about their long-term earning potential.

As if a shortfall in pay wasn’t enough, women are also coming up against issues once they return to work:

  • Almost a third (29%) of women feeling side-lined or undervalued
  • One in ten (10%) are doing work that they would describe as ‘beneath their ability’
  • Nearly half (47%) of women describe their current work as simply ‘a means to an end’, laying waste to so much unharnessed female talent.

TechPixies Confidence Gap Report looks at the impact of a career break on women and how it affects their skills, confidence, earnings and job fulfilment – and paves the way for a better understanding of women’s needs both prior and during their return to the workplace.

Joy Foster, founder of TechPixies, who commissioned the poll of 1000 working women aged 34-54 who were back at work after a career break, says: ‘It’s very clear from our research that more needs to be done to ensure that women are not negatively affected by taking a career break. As our Confidence Gap Report details, a big part of this is building up women’s confidence and digital skills ahead of their return to work.

‘And this is exactly what TechPixies sets out to do, enabling women to return to the workplace with confidence and practical skills that will give them more job satisfaction, better pay and appropriate recognition in the workplace. With our report we’re encouraging women to upskill themselves, which will in turn give them confidence so that they can go on to have fulfilling and stimulating careers following a career break, something we can all aspire to have in the 21st century thanks to the technology available to us all.’

The TechPixies Confidence Gap Report is available for download from the TechPixies newsroom, head to www.techpixies.com/newsroom to download the document.

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For further information, images or an interview request please contact jenny.kendall@techpixies.com or call on 07919123113

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Notes to Editors

The research for the Confidence Gap Report was run by OnePoll, October 2018.

TechPixies is an award-winning social enterprise helping women to upskill with social media, digital marketing and WordPress. It offers face to face, group online and self-paced courses. Joy Foster, the founder and managing director, is passionate about helping women return to work, change careers or start a business. A mum of two, Joy was born in USA and launched TechPixies in 2016.