What to expect when you’re not expecting? A young professionals take on preparing for Mat Leave

As you may have seen over the last week, HR Search were very proud to have partnered with and sponsored an event in conjunction with the DCU Leadership & Talent Institute. The aim of the event was to showcase the incredible research carried out by DCU on the topic of Women Returning to Work after Maternity Leave, very topical as you may know.

The research uncovered both the positive and negative stories people have encountered, throughout the numerous interviews and surveys DCU conducted with the participants of the research. Two very positive stories that were revealed on the day were that of Ita Langton and Bernie O’Connor. Ita herself spoke about her personal journey and how she was promoted to Partner with Deloitte while on Maternity leave (I still find this amazing). The second story came from the employers point of view, and Bernie discussed the incredible programme ESB has in place for women preparing for and currently on maternity leave. She discussed the importance of such programmes, particularly in ESB who have a 76% male workforce.


From a young professionals point of view, this got me thinking. While I am currently not at that stage in my life, it definitely struck a chord with me. It made me realise the importance of truly understanding the policies and culture in place in organisations regarding maternity leave, from a personal and candidates point of view. By understanding an employers stance on maternity leave and the programmes and initiatives in place for women, could potentially impact positively or negatively on whether a potential candidate could accept that job.

Maternity leave may not be on your agenda, but for those who do plan on becoming a parent in the future, it is a question that you may consider asking potential employers.Would your employer see maternity leave as a step back in your career? Or would they view it as a very short space of time in your long spanning career? From my point of view, the latter seems more appealing to me.


As mentioned, I am not at that time in my life but it is definitely something us young professionals should think about when it comes to making a long-term career change, or even starting closer to home and evaluating your current company and what their viewpoint is when it comes to maternity leave.

Are you a young professional and unsure as to how to broach the subject of maternity leave? Then why not let us help you. The HR Search & Selection team are on hand and happy to offer advice and guidance with regards to your career.