A fifth of women have not been able to get a job after taking a career break to have a child, a new study has shown.
A survey of more than 2,500 mothers also revealed that a similar number had taken a lower level position when going back to work.
Workingmums, a jobs website, said its research revealed that half of mothers had retrained in the past three years.
Gillian Nissim, founder of Workingmums.co.uk, said: "Our figures show a very significant number of women are seeking retraining after having children and that there is a big appetite for more flexible courses that fit around family life.
"The survey also shows the challenges facing women to re-enter their previous field after taking a career break."
Lack of flexible jobs was the main barrier to mothers going back to work, the report added.