Author(s) Avra Davidoff
Laura Hambley
April Dyrda
Julie Choi
Colleen Lucas
Rebecca Teebay-Webb
Michelle Cook
Publisher CERIC
ISBN 978-1-988066-14-1
In the News!


Making It Work! How to Effectively Navigate Maternity Leave Career Transitions: An Employee’s Guide was developed for women taking a maternity leave, which is inclusive of maternity, parental and adoption leave, and equally applicable to women who are experiencing their first or subsequent maternity leave career transition. This user-friendly resource is meant to be a self-directed tool that you use to tailor specific strategies to your career needs. It will empower you to be an active agent in your career development, setting yourself up for success.

Women make up approximately 50% of Canada’s labour force and account for 58% of post-secondary graduates. Of the working women who do become mothers, 90% will take a maternity leave. However, 36% of new mothers feel that taking maternity leave negatively impacts their opportunity for promotions, career development and career progression. The information in this guide serves as a starting point to develop positive career management practices not only in navigating your maternity leave, but with other career decisions in the future.

The guide covers:

  • The business case: Knowing how to communicate your value in the workplace
  • Understanding your career style and changes in work/home life
  • Before, during and after maternity leave (e.g., exit interviews, comeback coaching, combatting “imposter syndrome”)
  • Strategic return-to-work plans, including seeking mentorship or sponsorship
  • Customizing career plans with flexible work options (telework, job-sharing, mompreneurs)

Written by a team of workplace psychologists and career development experts at Canada Career Counselling and published by CERIC, the goal of this guidebook, along with the employer version (Making It Work! How to Effectively Manage Maternity Leave Career Transitions: An Employer’s Guide) is to help working mothers and organizations to collaboratively realize their full potential.

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About the Author

Avra Davidoff is a workplace psychologist and Associate at Canada Career Counselling and the Leadership Success Group. She currently practices in the areas of career development, leadership development, and diversity. Avra holds a Master’s in Counselling Psychology, with a career counselling specialization, from the Graduate Centre for Applied Psychology at Athabasca University.

Dr Laura Hambley founded Canada Career Counselling and has worked in the field of career development since 2001. Laura holds a Master’s in Applied Psychology and a PhD in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of Calgary. As an Adjunct Professor of Psychology, Laura regularly contributes to research in career development.


Carolyn Lawrence, Leader, Gender Diversity and Inclusion, Deloitte Canada

What has long been a taboo topic between employer and employee, and an often angst ridden journey for expectant mothers and employers alike, now for the first time has a playbook. Not only that, it hits on every note. You need not look any further for how to handle a maternity leave, and run your human capital, with the best information out there. This is progress.

Michelle Beck, VP People & Culture, ATB Financial

After reading through the guidebook, I wish I could have read this before I went through my own maternity leaves a few years ago. It’s a well-researched, well-written guide not only for employers to consider but also for women taking maternity leave. This is an excellent resource for any leave, not just maternity leave. The helpful checklists and definitions are going to provide much needed support for any organization hoping to do better in how maternity leaves, or any leave, is managed.