Why I started this campaign

Carolina Brière

My name is Carolina and I am a full time employee as well as the proud mum of three young children of six, four and three years old. 

Over the last years, I have been going to many conferences, events and workshops about getting women back to work. They all talk about governance pipeline, women returners programs and many other initiatives, but none of them touch on the number one barrier preventing women going back to work: childcare costs. 

I find it fascinating that most programs out there are trying to get women to the top, when the real problem lies at the most basic level, which is facilitating those at bottom and middle management positions to return to work. These cannot afford to do so because childcare is generally more expensive than what they may receive as a salary. 

The Childcare Levy aims to solve that. We want companies to ask the following to their employees: "Do you want part of your salary to be paid directly into your nanny, nursery or creche OR do you want us to put part of your salary into an accrual account, similar to a pension scheme, until such time that you have your first child?"

Once companies start asking these questions, women will go back to work, because they will feel they are being taken care of. Not only that, but they will be productive, the gender pay gap will reduce and yes, finally, we will get more women into senior roles.