For years, parents, particularly mothers, have experienced trepidation when explaining large gaps in the employment history as a result of taking time off to care for children. Not only do employers shy away from candidates who have lengthy gaps in their resumes, but many parents experience another problem of admitting to potential employers that they have children at all. Such an admission either leads to an employer shunting the candidate into “care” work or passing over a candidate because they have other responsibilities besides work.
This experience has taken on new resonance over the last year as the pandemic expelled more than 2.5 million women from the workforce in the US alone. Many have not returned due to continued school closures, concerns over the virus, and, especially for women, lack of jobs that allow for them to work from home, especially work in the service and hospitality industries.
In a small step to help parents feel more comfortable about their employment histories, employment-focused social network LinkedIn has added the option for users to describe their employment status as “stay-at-home,” whether it’s mother, father, or parent. It is hoped that such a move will help make it more acceptable within the culture to have employment gaps such as those created by parental leave.