LinkedIn To Add ‘Stay-At-Home Mom’ And Other Caretaker Titles

by Erica Gerald Mason

A year into a pandemic that has hit working women like a freight train, LinkedIn allows workers to more accurately reflect their work history

Hard-working mamas (And grandmas! And grandpas! And papas!) who took time off from the paid workforce to take care of their kiddos have been asking LinkedIn for more options to reflect a caregiving hiatus on their profiles for years. Finally, stay-at-home parents will have the opportunity to update their LinkedIn profiles with new titles.

And it only took a pandemic for it to happen.

LinkedIn will also no longer require any resume entries—such as, “stay-at-home dad”—to be attached to a specific business or company, Fortune reports.

Forbes published a post earlier this month about women who left the workforce – and criticized LinkedIn’s old-fashioned profile options. A shocking 2.3 million women have left the workforce within the last year alone, with schools and daycares closed and most service businesses employing mainly female workforces affected as a little-known consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“LinkedIn must remedy its implicit bias against women,” Heather Bolen noted in a post titled “How a Simple Platform Fix Can Help Millions of Women Trying to Re-enter the Workforce,” on the Medium publication Better Marketing.

“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,” Bolen wrote. “I’m left feeling disheartened and wondering why it is still necessary, in 2021, to manipulate a global platform like LinkedIn for something as common and essential as maternity leave.”

“There shouldn’t be shame in trying to be open about taking time off and then wanting to come back,” she added. “That’s even more the case with the pandemic, and all the women leaving the workforce.”

LinkedIn’s new job titles and positions include “stay-at-home mom,” which aims to help parents and caretakers describe their time away from the workforce.

LinkedIn officials said similar fixes have been in the works for some time. “[We] need to normalize employment gaps on the profile to help reframe hiring conversations,” Bef Ayenew, director of engineering at LinkedIn, said to Fortune.

Another change is the addition of separate resume sections for employment gaps that are plainly separated from the rest of the resume, and the choice to select from ten various kinds of breaks, like “family leave,” or “hospital leave.’

LinkedIn has also developed a dedicated field for users to include gender pronouns in their profiles. This modification has been requested by numerous LinkedIn users, who until now have worked around the gender pronoun feature by placing their pronouns after their names.