Many women continue to face obstacles when returning to their jobs after having children, employers say.

In a recent survey of 800 business executives by Korn/Ferry International, a Los Angeles, Calif.-based human resource management firm, 76 percent said they considered it challenging for new mothers to return to work, while more than 20 percent said the process is more difficult than it was five years ago.

Nearly half of the respondents said their companies don't offer flexible work schedules for employees with families, though most agreed the policy would be valuable, the survey found.

Ana Dutra, the head of the firm's Leadership Development Solutions division, said a tighter labor market is prompting some progressive companies to better adapt to the needs of working mothers in order to recruit top talent.

"On a global scale change is slower, with employers only beginning to recognize the necessity of catering to working parents to attract and retain top executives," Dutra said in a statement.