Did you know that unpaid child care would be Australia’s largest industry, if it was counted in our national accounting? Parenting, whether you’re a stay-at-home parent or juggling it around employment, involves a shocking amount of unpaid labour each week.
An investigation from the ABC found that stay-at-home mothers do 73% of the housework and 70% of care. Stay-at-home dads perform 53% of the housework, while women still do half the care.
Married mothers with dependent children do “a whopping 40 hours more unpaid labour” every week than their single, childfree counterparts. Married fathers do 15 more on average than their childfree counterparts. Single mothers also perform “substantially more unpaid labour than fathers”, comments the ABC, which includes single dads.
So why are we bombarding you with all these statistics? Because one writer, Heather Bolen, who is also a mother, went viral last month via a Medium article when she called out LinkedIn for the fact parental care wasn’t able to be input into LinkedIn’s employment history.
Bolen called it “striking” that there are “zero pre-populated options on LinkedIn to identify maternity, parental or adoption leave” along with several other legitimate reasons for employment gaps.
She called upon the professional networking giant to modernise its profile editing options — which could then encourage “transparent dialogue about employment gaps”.
And as of this week, the company listened — and implemented it. If you head to your LinkedIn profile, you can add “stay-at-home mum”, “stay-at-home dad” or “stay-at-home parent” to your employment history on the website.
According to Fortune, LinkedIn says it’s also removing its requirement that it has to be linked to a specific company or employer — however when we tried it earlier this morning, it still said: “Company name is a required field”.
Bef Ayenew, director of engineering at LinkedIn, said this measure is currently “a stopgap solution.” One planned change that should roll out “over the next few months” will see LinkedIn users be able to create separate resume sections for employment sections; 10 different types of hiatus will be made available, which includes “parental leave”, “family care leave” or “sabbatical”.
It may be a small step for stay-at-home parents and for normalising caregiving hiatus’s, but it’s a step nonetheless.