‘Balancing Act.’ How can organisations support the engagement of female employees post maternity leave?

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Collins, Mary
Issue Date
Higher Diploma in Arts in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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The research aims to: (1) Provide rich, evidence-based data and inform organisational decision-making in relation to the re-engagement of female employees post maternity leave. (2) Highlight the potential of engagement to enable the organisation to reach its potential through female employees fulfilling theirs. (3) Propose to outline a ‘checklist’ for employers to support female employee’s maternity leave. The research employed a qualitative research approach using an online questionnaire as part of the exploratory phase. The research sample involved female employees from 3 large high performance organisations. These participants completed an online survey, a sample group of senior level managers in one of the organisations participated in a focus group and a sample from each organisation participated in in-depth interviews to provide ‘rich data’ in relation to the research question. The study revealed key themes in the area of reasons why women returned to work, how organisations managed the transition, impact on career progression and the emotional response experienced. Recommendations from the study include a checklist for managers to consider before, during and after maternity leave.