New mothers in the U.S. often feel forced to leave their jobs without adequate maternity leave policies: 12 weeks unpaid leave is not enough time for many.
This can leave mothers with résumé “gaps” once they begin looking for new jobs. Mothers often avoid discussing the gap, which can have potential employers guessing and may cause qualified mothers to be overlooked. Some studies have shown that mothers who explain these gaps clearly are less likely to be passed over for opportunities. Although not an actual company, “The Pregnancy Pause” has created an alternative to a blank space in your resume or CV. “The Pregnancy Pause” has its own website and LinkedIn page. Their LinkedIn page gives the following instructions: “Here’s how to utilise our company on your LinkedIn profile: 1. Add your new job as a “Mom” at “The Pregnancy Pause” to your LinkedIn profile under “Experience” for the duration of your maternity leave. 2. Explain your experience during maternity leave as it applies to you under “Description.” This could be anything from “Designer of human life” to “Hands-on experience in development.” You know best. 3. Save your new job, updating your network on this exciting period in your career – and watch the congratulations roll in.”
They also provide helpful advice and things which can help when re-entering the marketplace such as a sample resume and cover letter. They also provide a phone number for HR people to call. If they call they will hear the following message:
“Hello, you have reached The Pregnancy Pause. You must be calling about a candidate’s resume that has mentioned her time spent here. While here, she spent innumerable hours raising a child, which has surely offered her invaluable experience as a prospective employee. Visit our website ThePregnancyPause.org to learn more, and remember, maternity leave is a full-time job.”
The idea is that mothers can list their job title as “Mother” at “The Pregnancy Pause” to their LinkedIn profiles or resumes and turn a resume gap into a proud statement that parenting is a full-time job.
This initiative is the brainchild of creative agency Mother New York, Mother New York’s mission is to erase any negativity surrounding the resume gap, and offer moms an easier, upfront way to directly address this gap when returning to the workforce. Mother New York’s Chief Creative Officer, Corinna Falusi told us:
“My favorite ideas are always ones that help solve a problem. So for this year’s Mother’s Day we wanted to take on a frustrating problem for many working mothers. New mothers in the U.S. often feel forced to quit their jobs due to a lack of adequate maternity leave policies, which leaves them penalized for the subsequent gaps in their resumes. We wanted to give working mothers in the US a simple tool, and make it easier for them to own maternity leave as the full-time job it truly is.”
Erik Norin, Creative Director, Mother New York added: