But around 27 per cent of women are being prevented from working due to family commitments, according to the Office for National Statistics.
This compares to just seven per cent of men.
A new report from website Careering Into Motherhood reveals that 63 per cent of women say their ambition has either stayed the same or increased since having kids, but two thirds of these have found fewer opportunities available to them since maternity leave.
Almost half of working mums also believe their chances of promotion have suffered as a result of asking for flexible work arrangements to fit around their family.
Sarah Jackson, of business school Cranfield School of Management, in Bedfordshire, said: “Barriers are put in the way of women who want to continue with careers.”
One company bucking the trend is hotel chain Travelodge. Its Working Parents Programme offers mums and dads jobs close to home, hours to match the school run, family-focused benefits and the chance to climb the career ladder once commitments allow.
The company currently has 430 vacancies.
Mum-and-daughter team Clare and Lea Jeffrey work together at the Perth A9 Travelodge. Clare is a receptionist, Lea is a housekeeper.
Clare, 41, said: “It has given me a career path in hospitality which I love, while looking after my daughter when she was small, as she has learning disabilities.
“It took me from being an unemployed single mum to planning to join the company’s in-house management development programme.”
Lea, 19, added: “I was bullied at school and left with no qualifications or confidence.
“A lot of employers rejected me but since joining Travelodge, I am much happier.
“My relationship with Mum has improved too — both at work and at home!”
Try these companies, offering the best chances for working mums, as voted for by top family charities . . .
Don’t be the only one on call for the kids: Make sure your school or childminder has two emergency contacts so you aren’t the only one they contact. Share the burden.
Set realistic expectations: Don’t expect perfection. If the school shirts aren’t always ironed and the costume for dress-up day isn’t homemade, it doesn’t matter. As a working mum you are a role-model, showing your kids valuable behaviours.
Prioritise your wellbeing: Three quarters of working mums say their relationship had suffered due to stress since becoming a parent. Juggling work and parenthood is tough so know when to take a break and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Don’t assume your boss knows you want a promotion: Make it known you want to progress. Don’t let your boss assume you are any less committed just because you’re a mum.
Find a coach, a champion or a mentor: Look for someone who isn’t a friend or your partner, who will listen and guide you.
Careering into Motherhood is an online library of free resources for working mums.
COOL JOB SWITCH
WANT to hear “you’re hired”?
Firms are offering apprenticeships to mums to retrain after a career break caring for children.
Mother-of-five Kelly Gittos is studying as an Apprentice Deputy Manager with Iceland after her eldest child left home.
Kelly, 43, from Boston, Lincs, said: “The scheme has given me confidence and inspired me to apply for a managerial role.”