LinkedIn is adding 'stay-at-home-mum' as an actual job title
Keeping children alive and fed and entertained and safe is hard work.
It is hard work for those of us who do it alongside a job outside the house, and it is hard work for the mums (and dads) who do it as a fulltime job inside the house too.
In a single day, your assignments will see you being a chef, referee, driver, entertainer, nutritionist, teacher, nurse, life coach, not to mention crisis negotiator.
However, to many potential employers and organisations, trying to explain the fact that staying at home raising children for a few years has been an unpaid job, not a leisure activity, has, up until now, not been easy.
A gap in your employment history has been a tricky one to explain or use to your advantage for many parents trying to re-enter the job market after raising their families.
But not LinkedIn is hoping to help change this.
The professional social network company is adding "stay-at-home mum" and "stay-at-home dad" as actual job titles.
As well as this, they are also removing an old requirement that said job titles needed to be linked to an employer.
Needless to say, this is a huge step in the right direction for caregivers and families. It will make it easier for parents to create resumes that genuinely reflect their lives, and it will make it easier for mums and dads to network and to get back into the workforce.
LinkedIn made these changes following the publication of an article on Medium that criticized the social network's lack of profile options for people who have been forced out of the workforce.
"Strikingly, there are zero pre-populated options on LinkedIn to identify maternity leave, parental leave, adoption leave, sick leave, bereavement leave, elderly care leave, or for long term injury/illness, education/re-training, volunteering, long term travel, a gap year, a sabbatical — or for a pandemic," writes Heather Bolen.
"LinkedIn's silence is tantamount to a 'don't ask, don't tell policy,' in which employers and prospective employees dance around the topic of family, thereby preventing meaningful conversations about workplace policies that could better support the hiring, productivity, job satisfaction, and retention of employees who are also primary caretakers."
Bef Ayenew, director of engineering at LinkedIn, responded to Bolen's article through Fortune.
"I wholeheartedly agree that we need to normalize employment gaps on the profile to help reframe hiring conversations," he told the website. He confirmed the company's decision to add "stay-at-home mum" and "stay-at-home dad" as job titles.
These changes are important—they will create a better reflection of modern parenting and our workforce. If you've taken time off from your career to care for a child or loved one, you shouldn't face unnecessary barriers when you'd like to return to work.