Why Do Women Leave the Workforce? Ovia Health Releases Report on the State of Working Motherhood

Finds flexible scheduling, benefits communication, manager training, breastfeeding support impact the decision;

64% of women who leave the workforce make the decision before they give birth

BOSTON--()--Ovia Health, the leading women’s health company supporting women as they navigate their most important health and life decisions, today released its inaugural Motherhood in America report. The report, which surveyed nearly 2,000 women, investigates why women decide to leave or remain in the workforce once they have a child. The report identifies three main areas where employer actions impacted a woman’s decision:

  • Flexible scheduling,
  • Benefits communication and manager training, and
  • Breastfeeding support.

Ovia Health found that 34% of women did not return to their job once they gave birth. Of the women who did return, only 12.5% returned because they loved their job. 73% of the women who returned cited financial necessity.

“Because we have one of the largest data sets on women’s health in the world, we have an unparalleled ability to understand how women make decisions,” said Paris Wallace, CEO of Ovia Health. “Through our survey, we learned that 64% of women make the decision to leave their job before they have their child. This tells us that employers need to offer maternity benefits that support women from preconception through return-to-work. If employers fail to do so, they could be facing a cost of up to 200% of that employee's salary to replace women who leave.”

Key findings include:

  • Only 19% of respondents who left their job described their workplace as a “good place for new mothers.”
  • 77% of women cited flexible scheduling as something that they wanted from their employers.
  • 29% of respondents said that they were unsatisfied their employee benefits; 30% were unsatisfied with guidance about returning to work.
  • 70% of respondents wanted better breastfeeding support; 29% of women who returned to work felt “not at all supported” by their employer’s nursing facilities.

“The report indicates that employers may not be able to retain female talent unless they make strategic changes to their policies, practices, and cultures,” said Gina Nebesar, Chief of Product at Ovia Health. “At Ovia Health, our mission is to improve the lives of women and families by helping organizations make more family-centered decisions. Women need easy-to-access resources and reimagined care that support them from the moment they’re thinking about starting a family through parenthood.”

Visit www.MotherhoodInAmerica.com for the complete report.

About Ovia Health
Ovia Health supports women as they navigate their most important health and life decisions. Since launching in 2012, Ovia Health has helped over 7 million women on their journey to parenthood. Ovia Health partners with leading employers to provide maternity benefits that prevent healthcare costs, create family-friendly workplaces, and help women return-to-work.


Ovia Health
Sarah Coppersmith, 602-418-0316

Release Summary

Why do women leave the workforce? Ovia Health releases its Motherhood in America report investigating why mothers decide to leave or stay in workforce


Ovia Health
Sarah Coppersmith, 602-418-0316