Working moms pressured to quit

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Working moms pressured to quit

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Ninety-five percent of working moms in Korea have considered quitting their jobs because of the pressure of balancing a full-time job and family, a survey showed Sunday.

According to a survey of 2,000 women with full-time jobs and children conducted by the KB Financial Group Research Institute, the vast majority of respondents said they were often pressured to quit their jobs and commit to parenting.

More than half of those who considered quitting said the pressure got worse when their children entered elementary school. Around 42 percent of respondents thought of resigning right after childbirth, and 38.9 percent considered quitting when their children started attending preschools.

In order to continue working, 54.4 percent of working moms received help from their families in maintaining their employment, the survey said, with 34.3 percent of them getting assistance from their parents.

Other options included housemaids, day care and cram schools, but 10.6 percent of respondents who couldn’t find a reasonable solution said they and their husbands had to take leave for child care.

Money was the cause for around 75 percent of working moms to continue working full-time. The survey showed that 44 percent of working moms preferred to keep their jobs to make more money. Only 7.6 percent of working moms wanted to keep working for their careers.

Working moms weren’t just engaged in full-time employment and parental care, as 78.3 percent of them said they also managed the household finances. For that reason, 64.5 percent of working moms were using their own accounts to manage credit card payments, loan interests, insurance premiums and other financial transactions.

Around 90 percent of working moms were also in charge of saving money and making investments, with 37.1 percent of them saving up to pay for their children’s tuition and possibly help them study abroad. More than 18 percent of those working moms were saving to pass on a sum of money to their kids when needed, and 17 percent said they were saving to teach their children how to manage money.

The survey also showed that 78.6 percent of working moms have saved an average of 10.1 million won ($8,500) for emergencies.

As well as holding down a full-time job, taking care of the children and handling all the money, many working moms also said they’re responsible for shopping. Many resort to online shopping malls for the sake of convenience, with 47.5 percent browsing such websites after work.

According to the survey, working moms are only left with an hour and 51 minutes to themselves every day.

“For working moms to achieve balance between their full-time jobs and household work, there needs to be a culture in their workplaces and society to improve the work-life balance, backed up with legislation,” said Oh Hyun-jeoung, a researcher at the KB Financial Group Research Institute.

BY YEOM JI-HYEON [ko.juntae@joongang.co.kr]

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