More working mothers demand support for better work-life balance

Organisations and employers can, and should, do more to help working mothers in South-East Asia achieve work-life balance.
By: | May 9, 2024

More working mothers must learn time management techniques to balance professional and personal demands, as significant challenges continue to arise in the Asian workplace.

This is according to Milieu Insight’s newest quantitative study, which polled 3,000 working mothers across South-East Asia covering Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Thailand. They found that three out of five respondents in South-East Asia are struggling to find adequate time to manage both work and family commitments, along with managing the overwhelming burden of self-care due to the relentless demands of work and home life. 42% of women in Singapore and Vietnam report finding it increasingly difficult to prioritise their wellbeing while juggling the demands of work and home, exceeding the regional average of 31%.

The study also showed that 44% of those surveyed wish more people understood the difficulties they face as a working mother, with one in five respondents responding that being a mother has hurt their career. The highest percentage of women opining this is in Singapore at 40% and this may correlate to how 66% of working mothers in the region shoulder significant household responsibilities, including childcare, cleaning, and cooking.  

Many respondents in South-East Asia believe remote work and flexible working arrangements would be able to curb the anxiety behind this, with 68% of working mothers through the region believing that it would help enhance work-life balance and career growth. 54% of working mothers in Singapore wish for extended leave policies to better support working mothers despite paid maternity leave being capped at 16 weeks in Singapore.

READ MORE: More flexible jobs on offer for new mothers in China 

The study research concluded that with the help of inclusivity, flexibility, and support, workplaces can create a nurturing environment where women can excel in their professional roles while still being able to carry out their caregiving duties.