Popular dating app, Bumble, released its annual State of the Nation report in March 2023, commissioned within August and September 2022. The report found that "Mom Guilt" is unfortunately still a widely shared experience, with 84% Indians surveyed agreeing that mothers feel more guilty spending time at work to further their careers than fathers do.
The representative survey of 2,525 Indians covers the current state of equality within dating, relationships, careers, gender, finances and more. Results highlight the pervasive inequality women across India still encounter in workplaces and family dynamics today.
Nearly 4 in 5, or 73%, of total respondents say taking maternity leave disadvantages women’s career prospects; 89% of women respondents agree that inequality in childcare roles leads to inequality in career achievements.
To help navigate the balance between work and home life, Bumble CEO and Founder Whitney Wolfe Herd shares her biggest learnings from leading a company as a new mom:
Try to make your schedule work for you, not against you: “It’s a constant balancing act between parental and professional responsibilities. Sometimes I’ll need to do calls with teams in different time zones and this will require flexibility in my working hours. I make sure that this doesn’t mean I lose family time. If I’m up early working through emails, I’ll carve out time in the afternoon to spend with my kids or make sure that I’m there for pick-up.”
Everyone should take parental leave: “In the U.S., paid parental leave is still far from the norm but even in European countries with generous policies, it’s difficult to feel like you can take the leave. I would encourage all parents, who are able to, to take advantage of parental leave policies, especially those who lead teams. Equality here sets us up for a better outcome overall and you can influence and model behaviour to others. If you’re taking all your leave, you’re giving those who come after you permission to do the same. At Bumble, we have gender-neutral parental leave, where all employees are eligible for a minimum of six months’ paid leave at full pay for the birth, adoption, foster or surrogacy of a child.”
Business leaders need to be an ally for parents: “Navigating parenthood and a career is challenging, no matter what support you have in place. Women and mothers cannot create a more equal, less guilt-ridden experience by themselves. There needs to be tangible change and structures to support a truly equitable vision of parenthood. This can look like flexible work policies, support groups for working parents and generous leave policies beyond birth. If you’re not sure how to help, just ask the parents in your office!”
Stay in touch with your pre-parent self: “I don’t think we’re meant to lose ourselves. I think we’re meant to evolve and grow and expand, but not shrink. I can’t feel guilty for doing the things that brought me joy pre-baby, or was part of who I was as an individual. When you think about it that way, it helps reframe that guilt.”