How the job market for parents has changed – Interview with founders of MUMDOO platform

At EDU Effective, we are open about our support for hiring parents on part-time or shared positions and remote work. We understand the need for parents to realize themselves outside of child-rearing and household care. As part of our upcoming collaboration, we invited the founders of the MUMDOO platform, Kristýna Cejnarová and Lucie Bášová, for another interview. We discussed what MUMDOO is preparing, the challenges parents face when looking for work, and the solutions MUMDOO offers for situations encountered by parents and companies in the job market. Let’s get started.

MUMDOO: easing parents’ return to work

The platform focuses on connecting parents with corporate projects and offers that respect their needs. Thanks to Kristýna and Lucie, positive changes in work conditions are happening in the Czech market.

Join the data collection for the second annual report mapping job opportunities for parents.

MUMDOO collects data for the report in two ways. Through a survey for companies involved in parent care and work in Czechia. If you are an HR manager, diversity manager, or hold a leadership position with decision-making authority regarding working with and caring for parents, you can participate here.

Are you a parent of a child under four years old based in Czechia? Then you can help the women from MUMDOO by filling out a survey focusing on your work engagement, obstacles, and motivation. The shortest path to the survey is here.

MUMDOO collects data until the end of May 2024.

You founded MUMDOO with the goal of connecting mothers on maternity and parental leave with flexible work opportunities. How has the job market for mothers changed since your inception, and what was the main impetus for these changes?

We see progress more in the public space, driven by the increased attention the topic has received recently. On the employers’ side, the situation is also slowly improving. From our experience, we still see that it’s individual companies or leaders who consider the issue important and give it the necessary priority.

Even these first signs of change make us happy. But we hope that a combination of greater awareness and the good practices of companies successfully integrating part-time and flexible workers will lead to quicker and more significant changes.

In 2022, you also launched MUMDOO+. What does the service offer? Are you planning any additional services at MUMDOO?

MUMDOO+ is a tool for larger companies that see the opportunity to expand their flexible and project-based job offerings to parent-employees (or other employee groups). Whether a company is just starting out and needs to be introduced to the topic and benefits of flexible work or has an idea and needs an analysis of their standing, MUMDOO+ application provides a simple tool for implementation.

It allows employers to keep in touch with all parents with a few clicks, inform them about educational opportunities, or offer them suitable projects based on their expertise that need internal help.

Can you tell us more about your upcoming report that maps job opportunities for parents with young children? What new data and perspectives do you expect the second annual report to bring?

The main goal of the report is to present local data on the wishes, needs, motivations, and obstacles of parents with children under 4 years old. It’s extremely important for us to show real numbers to the Czech Republic. This enables us to recommend how employers can best support their employees on maternity or parental leave. Data from our report is also crucial for the government to adjust conditions for parents according to their needs.

This year’s report will be enriched with socio-demographic data of respondents, allowing us to see how the situation differs among parents from various social strata, based on their education or place of residence. This will again provide us with extremely relevant data.

What major changes and challenges do you anticipate in the coming years regarding remote work and flexible job arrangements for parents?

Since the pandemic, we have observed a significant shift in work flexibility. Remote work (home office) or the ability to schedule work time according to one’s needs has proven to be a functioning model. However, the biggest hurdle remains the mindset of leaders in companies.

One of the most challenging aspects of setting flexible conditions is resetting how a company operates and manages people remotely. We hope that examples of good practice, which consistently show that including parents is financially beneficial for companies, will help. This approach not only secures loyal and experienced employees with several years of practice but also sets the groundwork for future generations entering the job market, where such conditions will be a necessity.

What impact has the partnership with the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs had on your work, and what specific projects or initiatives stem from this partnership?

The Ministry has granted us official patronage for the next annual report on integrating parents caring for small children back into work, which we are thrilled about. This cooperation is crucial for us because the Ministry is a key player in designing legislation for setting work conditions for parents and ensuring preschool care for the youngest children through children’s groups.

The Ministry and its representatives provide us with a platform to present the conclusions from our study, as the data we collect and interpret are the basis for policy-making in this area. They also help us with data collection and supplement our secondary data necessary for a robust analysis of the entire issue.

What are the most common barriers that parents on maternity leave face when looking for flexible work, and how does MUMDOO help overcome these barriers?

There are many barriers. On the employers’ side, we mainly talk about the lack of flexible and part-time jobs (only about 6% in the Czech Republic), but also about the employers’ distrust of this group of employees. Conversely, parents struggle with insufficient preschool facilities or high costs of private childcare, and last but not least, a loss of self-confidence. If a woman stays at home for several years, her negotiating position when looking for a new job is significantly weakened.

Our role is to provide project-oriented work at small and medium-sized enterprises for our experts with several years of experience. This not only ensures work opportunities but also gives them the confidence to return to the workforce or start their own business. Recently, we have also been helping companies find more stable work opportunities among parents registered in our database.

For companies, we offer a wide range of tools for implementing flexible work conditions, whether it’s workshops for management or our MUMDOO+ application to ideally engage their own parents.

In the public sphere, we address this issue with public sector representatives and offer data-driven solutions.

What changes in education or skills do you consider crucial for mothers who want to remain competitive in the job market?

The most important thing is that mothers have access to skill upgrades and changes to stay relevant, both for their field and the job market overall. We also know that a change in company policies to include this employee group as a priority in education would be welcomed by employees – parents.

How are your recommendations for companies that want to effectively offer part-time jobs to parents implemented in practice? Can you give examples of companies that have successfully implemented your advice?

We always start from the situation of the given company, looking at how their communication processes are set up, what opportunities they already offer their employees, and analyzing this starting position is crucial for our recommendations. Sometimes we start from the basics, explaining what flexibility actually is and the principles of a functioning hybrid work model. Proper task assignment and control are also important. For more advanced companies, we offer our MUMDOO+ software, which allows companies to create projects and automatically assign them to individual employees, who then work autonomously and only submit their outputs.

We have a great collaboration with NOTINO, for example, where they show that working with parents is a real priority for them and they want to develop it further.

What role do you think state policy plays in improving working conditions for parents? Are there any specific policy changes you would like to see?

Absolutely key. The state sets the amount and conditions for receiving financial support during maternity, parental, and paternity leave. It also has the ability to support part-time jobs or remote work and ensures state-funded preschool care, whether through public kindergartens or the operation of children’s groups and newly, neighborhood babysitting.

In the future, we would like to see greater support for fathers in childcare, whether through awareness that a child has two parents who can both fully care for them, or concrete steps like extending paternity leave. We would also welcome support for effective tools for implementing flexibility, such as increasing tax relief on part-time jobs or simplifying the related administration.

How does MUMDOO support work-life balance for your clients and their employees? What strategies or tools have proven to be the most effective?

I must admit that work-life balance is a big challenge for us too, and in recent years, we’ve been operating more in a work-life blend mode, where childcare interweaves and punctuates our workday. For our clients, we always emphasize the principles of well-being for their employees – giving them the ability to be offline and disconnect, calibrating the workload to the size of their part-time jobs, and continuously revising such settings to support setting boundaries for a mutually beneficial work relationship.

What specific plans does MUMDOO have until the end of 2025? Can you share any upcoming projects or initiatives?

We plan to continue on our current path, as we feel it covers all three important players – parents, companies, and the state. At the same time, we would like to focus more on working with companies, where we see that systemic solutions will affect many more parents than we can manage at MUMDOO ourselves. Thanks to our awareness-raising activities, we also see greater media interest, without which it’s not easy to do this work.

The journey to greater flexibility and inclusivity in the job market requires personal commitment and an innovative approach. The MUMDOO platform demonstrates how concrete actions can lead to real changes, helping parents better balance work and family life. Your voice is important for the development of working conditions. If you are a parent or influence company policy, participate in their survey. By filling out the survey, you will help formulate effective solutions and improve the current situation. 

Link to the survey for parents of children under four years old

Link to the survey for companies

Thank you, Kristýna and Lucie, for accepting the invitation to this interview and for your inspiring view on the employment policy for parents in the Czech Republic.


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