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Almost half of working mothers feel ‘discriminated against’

A new survey from has found nearly half of working mothers feel their employer actively discriminates against them.

Having questioned 2,300 mothers, it also found that nearly two thirds of women return from maternity and moved to a new role within their existing company or in another organisation.

The survey also revealed that flexible working was the most important factor in career progression for working mothers, with more than 20% leaving a company when a flexible working request was turned down.

Of those who had had flexible working requests declined, only just more than 1 in 10 had appealed the decision. More than half of them felt that the reasons given by their employer were unjustified.

Gillian Nissim, founder of, told the Guardian that the results show how important it is for businesses to think creatively about flexible working requests, rather than dismissing them.

“Some have argued that it is too expensive for businesses to move to more agile working patterns,” she says. “But the survey demonstrates the costs of not doing so in terms of the loss of skilled staff.”

Read the findings in full at the Guardian